So — I Finally Watched Season 9 Of MLP:FIM
Yeah, took me awhile, didn’t it? Basically, due to lack of time, there are around a million shows that I should catch up on but haven’t been able to. Luckily, I decided to use my time in lock down to finally finish one of the most deserving shows, My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic.
So what did I think of the season overall? I liked it — I guess. To be blunt, this is the blandest season of the whole show. Even blander than season one, where the characters were still developing beyond one sentence personality traits. (Which they might have gone back to, but we’ll get to that.) While almost no episodes pissed me off, I can’t think of any that would crack my top ten — hell, even my top thirty favorite episodes.
The highs were simply less high, even with some great stories wrapping up I honestly just felt bored most of the time.
And oh boy, did flanderization hit this show hard — at least, with a few characters.
Remember Lesson Zero? That episode where Twilight went insane over the fact that she might disappoint her teacher and be punished severally for it? Well season nine copies and pastes it — twice. Once because Twilight returned to the library several years later and is worried both about disappointing the librarian and about the large amounts of fines — okay, and one where she goes crazy trying to win a trivia competition — which is one of the worst episodes of the whole show.
I could forgive this if either of these episodes were funny — but they really weren’t. In fact, the one about the trivia game is nearly unwatchable. Although, it’s not the worst episode of the season, which we’ll get to in a minute.
However, Twilight is not the most flanderized character on the show, that honor goes to The Great And Powerful Trixie! Once my favorite supporting pony, she has now turned to someone I cannot stand. She use to be a hard-working pony with a bit of an ego that she usually managed to keep in check when the situation called for it, she has turned into not only a rampant egotist but also a total idiot.
This is not Season nine’s fault, in fact the worst example of this is All Bottled Up, which aired in Season seven. However, Season nine does not get off the hook for this. With their episode, A Horse Shoe-In, being the second worse Trixie episode (yes, I think both of them are worse than Boast Busters) and, to rub more salt in the wound, her final major appearance for the whole damn series.
In that episode, Starlight, after being made the headmare of the school of friendship (we’ll get to that, and how it seems to have been sent down the memory hole) decides to hire an assistant. Trixie thinks the position was specifically created for her (since when did Trixie care about the school of friendship?) and screws up every single part of the qualifying process — and Starlight goes along with it.
You ever see that movie What About Bob? The worst episodes with Trixie and Starlight remind me of that movie — and I hate that movie. Like What About Bob, these episodes have one joke, that someone is blind to reality and another person is annoyed by it but the first person can’t see because they’re blind to reality, repeated on loop for way too fucking long!
So is A Horse Shoe-In my most hated season nine episode? No, and neither is A Trivial Pursuit. They aren’t the worst because Common Ground is.
Why Common Ground? Pure lack of substance. Similar to the above two episodes, it has a grand total of one joke — and it’s the least funny of the whole damn show.
Hey, Quibble Pants is pretending to be a sports pony, but he knows nothing about sports. Did you find that one sentence funny? If so, keep re-reading it for the next twenty two minutes. If you still find it funny, I can officially recommend you Common Ground.
It helps that I never liked Quibble Pants as a character. He had two personality traits back in Stranger Than Fan Ficition, one of which was being blind of reality. Now, he no longer has that problem because all the stupid in the world got merged into the current version of Trixie.
I figured I should talk about the Friendship school to help calm myself down. Mind you, and I have no idea how popular of an opinion this is, but I actually really liked the idea of the school of Friendship. For that matter, I actually kind of liked the new main six the school gave us.
Want to know my issue with the School of Friendship in Season nine? It seems like they just gave up on it. In Season eight, just about every other episode focused on the school in one way or another — not so much for Season nine. Now, it’s closer to say roughly one in every four episodes focus on them. Isn’t this suppose to be some big status change? Guess not, considering they just decided to not do anything with it for a good number of episodes.
Let’s talk about the villains. First off, what the hell is a Grogar? Isn’t it that obese frog all the zoomers are talking about?
Yeah, when we first see Grogar, he’s treated like this big deal — but if that’s the case why was he barley mentioned. Twilight reads a book about him once (A Flurry Of Emotions), she also read a book about slumber parties once (Look Before You Sleep), that doesn’t mean I expect slumber parties to be the main antagonist of the last season.
Compare this to someone like Star Swirl The Bearded. The first time we hear about him is in the form of Twilight dressing up as him (Lunar Eclipse) and he’s mentioned on and off at various points throughout the series. As a result, we see him as a big deal, not as someone who — well, who we should have heard of a long time ago.
Grogar helped create Equestria. Okay, I understand that. According to the small backstory we get on him (The Beginning Of The End) Grogar united Equestria from a small number of farms into a full country through installing himself as a dictator. Wait — wouldn’t this be mentioned in some form during that Hearth’s Warming play they were part of back in Season Two? You know, that holiday based around how Equestria was created.
Look, I’m not one of those bronies who obsesses over the continuity of the franchise as a whole. After all, far as I’m concerned only the show is canon and everything else can be contradicted by DHX at any point they want. However, I at least expect DHX and Hasbro to be able to keep the basic facts of the show consistent from episode to episode.
Grogar summons all of the major bad guys who haven’t been reformed. These include King Sombra, Lord Tirek, Cozy Glow, and Queen Chrysalis. Okay but, and this is a me thing, I cannot take Chrysalis seriously as a villain. Even when she “nearly” won back in Season Two, she lost because she was stupid and her plan was equally as stupid. Since then, she’s become more and more of a laughing stock — The Mean Six anyone?
Anyway, Grogar (yes, I know what you’re thinking, we’ll get to that in a minute but until then, I’m calling him Grogar) tells these villians that the reason they fail and the main six win is because the main six work together. Actually, Twilight beat Tirek almost entirely by herself, it was more Cadence and Shining Armor who beat Chrysalis after Twilight exposed her, Sombra was more defeated by Spike than anyone else, and it was the Tree Of Harmony who defeated Cozy Glow. But you know.
Sombra ignores this and tries to reconquer the Crystal Empire by himself. He fails, but first he destroys the Tree Of Harmony and the Elements Of Harmony along with them. The Tree Of Harmony later sprouts into a club house for the new Main six — who we almost never see after that point. You’d think they’d be building to something, but nope, not really. Sure, they have a small part to play in the finale, but it wasn’t exactly worth all the building of literally being talked to by the Tree Of Harmony itself.
Anyway, afterwards Tirek, Cozy Glow, and Chrysalis do team up but also double cross Grogar while stealing his bell that not only can capture magic, but has a large amount of magic in it already. Grogar doesn’t realize this, because despite constantly going to get the bell, he’s really stupid.
Okay, before we get to the finale, because that’s where this topic is going, there are a few more things I want to address.
Another one of the over-arcing stories of this season is that Celestia and Luna plan to retire and put Twilight in their place. I don’t really have much to say about this, it feels like a natural extension of Twilight’s character, same with her becoming an Alicorn or running a school.
I must also say, despite all the negative things I’ve said about the season, I am happy the show had a chance to wrap up some plots and show us some characters again. Seeing Garble, Ember, Cheese Sandwich, Gabby, and Daring Do were fun. It was also good to see Big Mac and Sugar Bell get married. Although I must ask, did we really need two episodes focused on Buckball? Nothing against Buckball, it looks like a fun sport, but I just didn’t feel it needed to be the primary focus of two separate episodes.
It commonly felt like the writers were more focused on the “wrap this up” boxes on a checklist than making an entertaining season.
With that said, here are my favorite episodes of Season Nine:
- Sparkle’s Seven
- The Last Crusade — even in spite of a predictable ending
- Between Dark And Dawn
- The Last Laugh
- Daring Doubt
Okay, so what did I think of the final episode? Well, the twist of Grogar being Discord was really stupid. Grogar did not act anything like Discord, how was anyone suppose to pick up on the non-existent hints that Grogar was Discord?
And his excuse was equally as dumb. He wanted to prepare Twilight for being a princess and thought the best way to do that was to bring out the worst enemies from Twilight’s past? Maybe I could buy that if more than one out of the three of them was defeated by Twilight!
For that matter, if Discord has the power of snap travel, how the hell did he not realize the three other villains had already taken Grogar’s bell?
Besides the idiotic setup, I found the episode overall to be awesome — if slightly rushed. And what happens to the villains before they’re turned to stone — I won’t ruin it but it gave the Monty Python foot a run for its money, and I was rolling on the floor laughing at the end.
As for the epilogue, again, I just liked seeing what these characters would be like after all these years.
Overall, I enjoyed the season, but I’m glad its the last. After this, I honestly do not think there was anywhere else to go or anything else for them to do — and even then, I wouldn’t want them to do more because they barley broke even with this season. I could recommend a handful of episodes, however, if you just want the slice of life stuff and don’t care about missing some endings, I really couldn’t recommend this to you over any of the other seasons.
It was an okay ending to a great show.