We’re going back to where we began with this episode. After Spike brings up the fact that Twilight, being the Princess of Friendship nowadays, wasn’t the best at being a friend. Twilight realizes, 102 episodes later, that she had good friends in Canterlot and now she feels terrible for neglecting them. So she sets off to Canterlot to make amends. Spike comes along to remind Twilight of their names.
So yes, Twilight is off to reunite with the ponies we first met in the pilot episode. Her old library in Canterlot is just as she left it before Princess Celestia gave her “an assignment.” But now, thinking they’ve been suffering ever since, she needs to make it up to Minuette, Twinkleshine, Lemon Hearts, Lyra, and Moondancer. First up is Minuette. Actually, Minuette is glad to see her wants to get her photo taken with her. (I guess she and a couple other ponies like to see royalty.) They go and see Lemon Hearts and Twinkleshine as well.
Twilight apologizes to the three of them for up and leaving them for Ponyville. However, the three actually take things in stride. They knew that she was more interested in books at the time. They travel to the old science lab and reminisce about school days and Twilight reminisces about Moon Dancer. They go see her and it turns out she is more interested in study than friends nowadays. The other three say that she was coming out of her shell when she decided to throw a party—the same party Twilight turned down to learn about the Elements of Harmony. Realizing the error of her ways, Twilight tries to make it up to her. After a dinner with old friends fails to do the trick, Twilight goes to her “secret weapon”—Pinkie Pie.
Twilight sets a version of the James Woods trap with books and lures Moon Dancer to a party that Pinkie helped set up. It initially doesn’t work because when Twilight didn’t arrive at the party, she felt humiliated to the point she gave up on friendship. However, Twilight and the others are not about to give up on her. Where the episode truly shines is that while Twilight has faced magical creatures, the end of Equestria, etc.; but seeing how her actions affected Moon Dancer gave her one of the worst feeling she ever had. With that, Moon Dancer is ready to open up again and Spike even makes a contribution with a photo of the Canterlot friends back in the day.
This was an amazing episode. Few, if any of us thought, the show would ever go back to that seemingly innocuous scene back in the very first episode nearly five years ago. Yet, here we are back in Canterlot. It was a pleasant surprise to see Minuette, Lemon Drops, and Twinkleshine be so accepting of Twilight after all these years. And then there’s Moon Dancer who as it turns out, was deeply hurt by Twilight’s snub, and embodies what Twilight is attempting to accomplish in the episode. In retrospect, Moon Dancer became what we suspect Twilight would have become if Celestia hadn’t sent her to Ponyville to “make some friends.” In fact, it might be similar to the Twilight we are about to see in “Friendship Games” in September.
We’ve seen Twilight evolve into a character who would go out of her way to do right by others. Case in point, the (super-judgmental) yaks in “Party Pooped”. Now that she has learned a great deal about friendship during her time in Ponyville, she now feels a bit of guilt that she wasn’t that great of a friend when she was in Canterlot. It only makes sense for her to make amends.
The title of episode 7 this season was “Make New Friends But Keep Discord.” That title was a take on the Girl Scouts’ song “Make new friends, but keep the old.” This Saturday’s episode is the embodiment of that very motto. While Twilight has made new friends over the course of the show, she (and her Canterlot friends) realize how equally valuable it is to keep the old. It’s also a reminder of a scene from It’s A Wonderful Life where Clarence remarks about how the actions of one person’s life touches so many others’ lives, and when that person isn’t around, it leaves an awful hole. To Moon Dancer, Twilight’s actions not to attend the party and then leaving abruptly for Ponyville left an awful hole in her life. And now realizing that error, it’s left an awful hole in Twilight’s and the way she goes about making amends is testament to the character that Twilight has become.
This was an unexpectedly powerful and emotional episode that fans of the show could relate to. There have been times where we weren’t being the best of friends and we would like to make amends if we can. That was Twilight today.
Foal Papers said it best in one of his tweets. If “Slice of Life” was a love letter to the fans of the show, “Amending Fences” was a love letter to Lauren Faust and how the show began. The mission of Season Five is to spread the magic of friendship across Equestria, and this episode showed that mission applies to spreading, or in this case rekindling, that magic to old friends as well. I don’t know if M. A. Larson intended for this episode to be so powerful, but that’s exactly what it was and he has written the two best episodes in Season Five thus far with this one just a bit better. It is also the best Twilight episode the series has had so far and that’s saying something given all the two-parters (where Twilight is de facto the central character in them), “Lesson Zero,” and “Magical Mystery Cure.”
Pluses and Minuses:
- + Cavalcade of continuity
- + Twilight goes back to where she began
- + Twilight’s old friends help make the episode
- + Truly emotional episode
- + Relatable problem
- + Humor
- + Pinkie and Spike fly Air Twilight
PS: I also recommend the review of this episode by deviantArt reviewer thejboy88.