Here's an episode I don't think anyone expected at all. When I first heard of this episode, I actually thought it was going to be something else. I had heard there was going to be a Diamond Tiara character developing episode, and maybe this would be it. I was surprised to find out though it was a Twilight episode. Not only that, it would involve the ponies she met in the very first episode while she lived in Canterlot. I'm actually impressed that the MLP Team actually recalled these ponies who seemed to really have no significance other than to show Twilight wasn't one to make friends. However, they managed to turn that little scene into an episode about Twilight making up for how she acted to them.
The writer this time is M.A. Larson. So how can he take a small scene from the very first episode, and make it its own episode? Will Twilight make new friends with her old ones? Let's take a look.
We start out at Twilight's castle, where Twilight herself is busy reading a book. Spike comes in and states he's finished washing the dishes, and decides to sit down and curl up with a book. Twilight says after three events in the past week, she needs time to rest and relax. I'm assuming these events are the Ponyville Wedding, the summit in Canterlot (Which Twilight did all the planning while Cadence, Celestia, and Luna apparently did jack s**t, and left Spike to fail), and the Yak negotiations (Which I still feel should've been handled more by Celestia and Luna since they're the primary rulers).
While reading, Spike commends Twilight for how far she's come since ponies come to her for advice on friendship. When Twilight asks what Spike means, he says that she used to be the worst friend ever in Canterlot. He points to a wall of photos, and shows her current friends, but not her old ones from Canterlot. Twilight is horrified by this, and says she can't even remember their names. Spike tries to reassure her to not worry since he was trying to say how far Twilight came, but she doesn't listen. She orders Spike to pack a bag to go to Canterlot, and to make a list of her old friends up there. He agrees to do so, but isn't too thrilled about it.derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/7/4…
Yeah, I know that joke is older than the 13 Colonies of America, but it's hard not to look at that scene and make this joke. So they both head to Canterlot, and land outside the castle. Spike tries to tell Twilight she's overreacting, but she shrugs him off. She says the best way to get started is where things began. So they both head to where Twilight and Spike used to live in Canterlot. When they enter, they find the place is pretty much the same as they left it. The Predictions and Prophecies book is left open to the page Twilight left it on. Even Spike's gift to Moondancer is still there, as well as another part of it we weren't aware of. What's strange is that this place is very dusty and hasn't been used in a long time. So has Celestia just neglected to send some of her maids to keep this place clean? Or has Twilight earned so much money as Celestia's student that she bought her own house with no worrying about payments? Who knows?
Anyway, Twilight laments about how she left the place in such a wreck, but Spike comforts her and tells her that she had a duty for Princess Celestia, and nopony can get made at her for that. However, Twilight says she left her old place not only in a big mess, but also left her friendships with her old friends in Canterlot. She asks Spike for their names since she's forgotten them. He tells Twilight their names: Minuette, Twinkleshine, Lemon Hearts, Lyra Heartstrings, and Moondancer. So Twilight vows to make things right with them.
The following morning, Twilight wakes up Spike, who's been sleeping on a pile of books (I guess Twilight is not the only one who does that). She's been up all night doing a little research, and she believes she knows where Minuette lives. We cut to a house that would probably suit the Doctor, where Twilight and Spike walk up to the steps. Spike tries to tell Twilight again that maybe this isn't a good idea, but she tells him he was right that her old friends were probably miserable as to how she abandoned them. The door then opens, and Twilight asks for Minuette. Suddenly, Minuette appears, and is actually happy to see Twilight and Spike. She tells them that she tried to tell her co-workers she knew the Princess of Friendship, but they didn't believe. They take a photo, and Minuette offers Twilight to meet the others. Twilight accepts and is pleased she'll be able to apologize to all three of her friends, while Spike sarcastically states about how he hopes they aren't "traumatized" like Minuette.
We move on to Doughnut Joe's shop, a place we haven't seen since the season 1 finale, where Twilight, Lemon Hearts, Minuette, and Twinkleshine are getting reacquainted with each other. They comment that they were there at Twilight' coronation as Princess of Friendship, and that they've seen her at other times. They say they go to Ponyville often to see their old friend Lyra, kind of weird she isn't here in this episode since she's one of Twilight's old friends, or they all go to Cantrelot together. One thing I will say to the episode's credit is that they at least explain about why these ponies are seen in Ponyville, even though they were Twilight's old friends. It's nice to know they at least explain this whole thing about their presence outside of Canterlot. Minuette thought Twilight moved on from them after she moved to Ponyville, but she confesses she came back to apologize for how much of a bad friend she has been in the past. The girls then laugh, much to Twilight's confusion, and explain that while it stung Twilight left without a word, they didn't take it personally when she left for Ponyville. Lemon Hearts then offers them all to go see a "blast from the past."
Cut to what looks like an old mansion, but it turns out to be a part of Twilight's old science lab. Minuette asks if they remember when Lemon Hearts got her head stuck in that beaker. While the others laugh, Twilight looks in and a flashback begins.derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/7/4…
Do I even want to know how this happened?
During the flashback, we see Twilight and Moondancer talking to each other about making a salt lick. Twilight says they need to add the sodium chloride first, but Moondancer, who oddly looks like a Twilight recolor, says she read ahead and says the best thing to do is to add the molasses first. Twilight says she read ahead as well, and says to add the sodium chloride first. Moondancer says she must've read the wrong book, and the flashback ends.
Twilight then asks where Moondancer is, and the others seem a little hesitant. Minuette says they lost touch with her after Twilight left. Twinkleshine recalls that she lives in the stadium, and they all go to it. They go to the house, and see it's a complete wreck, but Minuette says she doesn't remember it being like this. Twilight goes up, and knocks on the door, which creates a hole in it. She looks in the hole, and an eye shows up and looks back at her. The door then opens, and we finally get our first look at Moondancer.derpicdn.net/img/2015/7/4/9296…
Boy...nothing like how we expected, huh?
I got to say, I am surprised with the way Moondancer looks. I was actually expecting something else entirely, not this. Don't get me wrong though. I don't hate the design. Anyway, Moondancer wants to know what Twilight wants, and introduces her to the others. Moondancer scoffs and slams the door on Twilight. Minuette says this is how she's been acting for a while, and even says she was just like Twilight. She agrees and says Moondancer is like her old self.
Three days later, we see Moondancer head off to the library, and is being watched by Twilight, Spike, and Minuette. Spike complains that they need to do something else since over the past three days, Moondancer has only gone to the library, and then back home. Twilight points out that nopony seems to acknowledge her, or even smile at her. She asks Minuette if Moondancer has always been like this. She says that Moondancer was starting to come out of her shell. She asks Twilight if she remembers the party Moondancer was having, but Twilight shrugs like she doesn't know. Minuette tells Twilight she must've been busy. We get another flashback from way back in the first episode. The scene actually plays out the very same way the first episode showed it. Even the same music is played during this part. I got to say I love the attention to detail done here. It's really fantastic and well done. I won't talk about the flashback since everyone reading this should be aware of this scene. If not, what are you doing reading this? Go watch the first episode of Friendship is Magic to understand what's going on.
After the flashback ends, Twilight seems shocked that she forgot about the party. Minuette says that maybe Moondancer was letting her guard down, but after the party, she became so involved with her studies, the others decided not to invite her out anymore. Twilight says she had no idea that the party meant so much to Moondancer, and wants to make it up to her.
Inside the Canterlot Library, Twilight finds Moondancer studying by herself. She tries to talk to her by being shocked to meet her, but the other ponies tell her to be quiet. Later on, Twilight tries again by using a bubble of silence to talk to Moondancer, but she bursts Twilight's bubble. Then again by using the classic waiting behind a book until said pony takes it and tries to talk to her, but the book is immediately placed back. Then, Moondancer is reading and–derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/7/4…
OH, DEAR LORD! WHAT!?
Um...I know Twilight loves books, but this is ridiculous (Pretty funny too honestly). When did she decide to become a bookmark, or take a page out of Discord's book? Anyway, Moondancer is naturally scared and slams the books shut. Everypony "shh's" her, and Moondancer starts talking to the book, much to everypony's confusion. She says to leave her alone, and that she doesn't throw parties. Twilight says that Moondancer did throw one, but didn't take into consideration her feelings. Moondancer then calls her out by Twilight Twinkle, which is an interesting thing considering that was going to be Twilight's real name instead of Twilight Sparkle. Anyway, Moondancer wants no part of this, or be with any crazy pony trying to make friends. It's actually kind of similar to Twilight when she was calling everypony in Ponyville crazy. Another good callback. Twilight decides to walk off, but Moondancer gets curious as to how she got in her book, and Twilight smiles at this.
Twilight and Moondancer walk, and the former says she's been studying a new studying technique that allows you to pick things up faster. I got to say, that is a pretty interesting technique. Moondancer recognizes it as one of Haycartes' (I know I pretty much messed up spelling that name. Maybe somebody can help me out with how it's pronounced and spelled) methods. They seem to know about him, and Twilight says she's got a book on his treaties on ponies, much to Moondancer's shock.
They head to Twilight's old place, where Moondancer finds a first edition of Principals of Magic. She then remembers giving it to her, and Twilight hesitates that Moondancer did. Moondancer opens it to confirm she wrote something to Twilight, and seems angry at it since it was left behind. To try to smooth things out, Twilight says she wanted to bring Moondancer over to give her the key to the...house? Library? Dorm room? I'm confused by what Twilight's room is actually considered. Twilight says Moondancer can come here any time she wants and study to her heart's content.
However, Twilight wants one thing from Moondancer. She wants Moondancer to attend a dinner with her hold friends. Moondancer doesn't want to since she'll be busy reorganizing her biology schools. Twilight tries to convince her that the others miss her, but Moondancer wants no part of this friendship making, and leaves. Twilight tries to tell her that a wise pony, alias Celestia, told her there was more to life than dusty old books. Moondancer says friendship just isn't for her, and is about to leave. Twilight desperately thinks of an idea, and comes up with one just as Moondancer is about to leave. She offers to teach her Haycartes' Method, and it catches Moondancer's attention.
Later that night, Twilight, Spike, Moondancer, Lemon Hearts, Twinkleshine, and Minuette are having dinner. And we have...wait....Who in the?derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/7/4…
Starlight Glimmer? Is she secretly watching Twilight, and this will lead to a key scene in a later episode? Or is this a lazy choice for some random background pony? You make the choice.
Anyway, the girls try talking to Moondancer about what she's studying. She says she's studying science, magic, history, economics, pottery, and other things. When asked if she's going to be a professor, Moondancer says no. After a little more talking, Moondancer says she wants to leave. Twilight tries to stop her, but Minuette says they're having a good time, but not everypony agrees. Minuette tries to get Spike to tell the time she had to read a slumber party book, a callback to Look Before You Sleep
, but before Spike can say anything, Moondancer figures out the book is Slumber 101, and has read it. Twilight tries to get things going by saying Lemon Hearts works at the palace, but Moondancer decides to leave.
Outside, Twilight tries to convince Moondancer to give friendship a chance, but she says she gave it a chance a long time ago. It didn't work for her then, and it won't work out now. Twilight is left stunned and on the verge of tears. Spike tries to comfort her, but Twilight says she's failed this, and that she can only imagine how Moondancer felt when she didn't show up for the party. We get another small flashback to said party. Moondancer is putting the final touches on the party as Minuette, Lemon Hearts, and Twinkleshine come. Moondancer is happy to see them, but wants to know where Twilight is. The silence from the others makes Moondancer realize with sadness that Twilight isn't coming. Minuette says they can still do things together, but Moondancer agrees in a hollow tone. After the flashback ends, Twilight wants to find a way to undo the damage. She gets an idea, and knows the pony to get to help.
The next day, Minuette goes to Twilight's old place, but there's no answer. She thinks Twilight and Spike has left, but she hears a cheerful laugh, and looks up to see Pinkie riding Twilight (no jokes please), and Spike hanging on for dear life. Twilight loses control and crashes into Minuette, and then they all land on the ground. Pinkie immediately jumps up, and says she's got to go flying again.derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/7/4…
(Insert Sonic joke here)
Minuette thought Twilight headed home in defeat, but Twilight says she went home to get some help. She tries to introduce Minuette to Pinkie, but they both know each other already. Pinkie recalls her as one of Cadence's bridesmaids, which is true, and hangs out all the time with her in Ponyville. Pinkie tells Minuette what they need, and they both go off. Spike asks Twilight what they need to do, and she says to come with her.
Outside the Canterlot Library, we see Moondancer leaving and finds a book on the ground, and then another nearby, and then another, and another, and another.derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/7/4…
Yeah, you all knew where this was headed.
Eventually, Moondancer comes across a sight that makes her drop every book. It's a party similar to the one she had a long time ago. Pinkie welcomes her and puts a hat on her, and a blower in her mouth. Moondancer takes them off, and says she doesn't do parties, and walks away. Twilight teleports in front of her, and says she knows, and that it's her fault since Moondancer invited her to a party, but didn't attend it. Moondancer says it's no big deal, but Twilight says otherwise, and wants to make it up since she's learned so much about friendship by having a party dedicated to Moondancer.
Twilight hands Moondancer a stick to hit the pinata with. She grudgingly agrees to do it, but asks Twilight if she thinks this is going to fix everything. Twilight thinks so, but Moondancer starts to yell at Twilight about how it was the first time she really came out of her shell, but Twilight had the nerve to leave town without saying goodbye. Moondancer continues to pour on the harshness as she thought Twilight was her friend, and that she felt humiliated with how she up and left her, and didn't want it to happen to her again. She points to Minuette, Lemon Hearts, and Twinkleshine and says they convinced her that she had value, but Twilight didn't show up at all. Finally, Moondancer breaks down and cries while everypony watches.
Pinkie gets an idea, and whispers to Spike to do something. While Moondancer cries, Twilight goes over to comfort her. She agrees the party can't make up for what she's done, but tells her to not let her mistake prevent her from making other friends. Minuette and the others say they were once friends, and they'd still be honored to be her friends again. Twilight then urges Moondancer to turn around. She's shocked to see Spike has brought the librarian, the book seller, and her sister (When did Moondancer have a sister?), and that Minuette says Moondancer has a lot of friends.
Twilight then apologizes by saying she's faced magical creatutes and the end of Equestria, but that her actions with Moondancer that left her this way was one of the worst feelings she's ever had. Moondancer tears up again, and thanks Twilight for the words. Twilight offers her hoof to shake, but then hugs Moondancer, who returns it. Moondancer calls for the party to start, and the party cannon is fired.
The party goes on into the night, and we see various things happening. Spike playing Pin the Tail on Princess Celestia and winning. Moondancer talking to the librarian and book seller. The group dancing. It all comes to an end, and everypony says their goodbyes to each other. Twilight says it's time for her, Spike, and Pinkie to go home. Moondancer thanks Twilight for all her help, and Twilight says they'll be back to visit her. Before the leave though, Spike gives Moondancer the gift he was going to give at her first party. It's not the bear though, but something else entirely.derpicdn.net/img/view/2015/7/4…
Though Twilight's actions may ruin the photo a bit, it's still cute and thoughtful.
And so the episode ends with Moondancer and the girls going out to play some Hoofball. Maybe she should go with the others and see Spike and Big Mac since they're Hoofball fans too.
So that was Amending Fences
, and do I really need to say anything? This episode pretty much hit every high note. This episode pretty much was fantastic in every aspect, and it's easily one of the best Twilight episodes, and may be the best episode of the season. Yes, probably better than Slice of Life
. It takes a rather simplistic story about making up to old friends, and makes it one of the most emotional and character developing driven episodes of the series.
The amount of continuity this episode acknowledges is fantastic and impressive. It calls back to early episodes ranging from the first episode, to Look Before You Sleep
, to Twilight's coronation, and so on. This is how you tell a story without leaving such big plot holes from past episodes. Following the continuity of the show helps tell the story better instead of disregarding certain events, or flat out changing them. It's one of the things the writers really need to start to do more of. They need to watch all the episodes to understand the continuity of the show, and stick to it instead of disregarding things in later episodes.
Twilight also has some of her best character development in quite a while. The idea of her missing out on a party may not sound bad, but the ramifications it had certainly told an interesting story of betrayal, heartbreak, and loneliness. She goes through a great character arc about making up her past mistakes and shows she still has so much to learn about friendship. This is some of the strongest Twilight development since the season 4 finale.
Let's talk about Moondancer herself. I think she is a perfect fit of what would've happened to Twilight had she not made friends. It's possible she could've turned out to be this bitter and sheltered from everypony else. Some may say that she could've easily made friends with Minuette, Twinkleshine, and Lemon Hearts. However, I argue that her and Twilight were pretty much friends since they both shared the same similar interests and were both studious. When Twilight didn't come to her party, it was most likely an emotional blow to Moondancer as she lost the one pony who was so close to what she liked, and who she considered a friend. The reason she didn't become friends with the others is because they just didn't have similar interests to hers. She unfortunately falls into the category of a Twilight recolor if you haven't figured it out by now. I suppose you could say that most background ponies are recycled with the same look, but I felt the design could've been better. Maybe a different, and different eye color from Twilight. I will say though she at least is not Suri Polomare clone #3. Seriously, looks at Aria Blaze and Starlight Glimmer they look the same pretty much.
Speaking of Starlight Glimmer, you have to wonder what's going on. I'm sure that it's no coincidence she's there, and near Twilight. Considering that the finale of this season is supposed to have something involving cutie marks again, and combined with Starlight being there, I think this scene from the restaurant will be an important plot point in a future episode. Who knows though? All we can do is wait and see.
The plot itself is really well done. I was going into this thinking it would be about Twilight trying really hard to make amends with all of them. Having everypony, except Moondancer, accept Twilight back so quickly was actually a good idea. The reasoning for why they accept her is good, and I feel that Twilight's old friends themselves are really well done.
About the only complaint I have is that Lyra, despite being one of Twilight's old friends, didn't show up. But it seems, according to Minuette anyway, that she's an old friend, and they don't keep in contact as much anymore. It's mostly a minor gripe, and Twilight can easily go see her anytime she wants to.
This is easily one of the best episodes of the series, and quite possibly the best of the season. Twilight has some really good character development. It follows continuity to past episodes very closely. The plot is really well done. The writing is superb. The characters are great. There are some good jokes. We learn more about Twilight's life in Canterlot. It's just a beautiful episode. Really top notch, and something I recommend to all of you. Props to M.A. Larson for such a great job, and proving why he's one of my all time favorite writers.
Can the awesomeness continue? Well next time we have our second Princess Luna episode, as she and our main characters have to find a magical force that can turn a pony's dream into a nightmare. Will we see the return of Nightmare Moon? Will they succeed? Well tune in to find out. Same review guy, same review channel!
FINAL SCORE: 10 out of 10
So what did you think of today's episode?