For the first time since May 6, 2011 (Best Night Ever), a new episode aired on a Friday. That’s about the only significant thing there is about this episode. In the episode, Pinkie Pie begins playing a new instrument called a yovidaphone. Much like every bagpipe gag in every Warner Brothers cartoon there is one, Pinkie is not that good at it.

Her friends tell her to stop playing and she does. Pinkie is fully deflated she loved that instrument so much in this episode. She is so deflated that she cannot be cheered up in Ponyville and moves to Yakyakistan to hear the yovidaphone fo happiness. That doesn’t work, but her friends coaxing her to play once again despite her not being good at it (so everypony thinks) does.

This episode may have been better served if the lesson were “practice makes perfect” or if Pinkie really did get better by the end of the episode instead of what we saw. It’s a gag as old as time where a character is poor at an instrument and/or singing and his or her friends try to go end around with being honest. This show usually does a good job of supplying something fresh to something cliche, but not in this case.

It needed to take a better tack knowing how Pinkie can easily get depressed if she feels rejection and also minus points for Twilight suggesting something similar to what she tried in “Horse Play”. In short, this was not a good episode.

GRADE:  D

StatManDan

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818 – “Yakity-Sax”

Written by: Michael P Fox, Wil Fox
Pinkie Pie has a bew hobby that she absolutely loves – playing the Zenithrash; when her friends discourage her from playing due to her lack of skill, it causes a series of events leading Pinkie Pie possibly leaving Ponyville forever.

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519 – “Now We’re Only Falling Apart”

Written by: Lamar Abrams, Christine Liu
Pearl tells a story.
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520 – “What’s Your Problem?”

Written by: Katie Mitroff, Paul Villeco
Amethyst convinces Steven to take a day off for himself.
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521 – “The Question”

Written by: Miki Brewster, Jeff Liu
Steven shows some city-slicker gems how the cowboys lived.
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522 – “Made of Honor”

Written by: Lamar Abrams, Christine Liu
Steven has a big surprise for the Crystal Gems.
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523 & 524 – “Reunited”

Written by: Miki Brewster, Jeff Liu, Katie Mitroff, Paul Villeco
Steven brings everyone together for a special reunion.
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“Equestria Girls – Rollercoaster of Friendship”

Written by: Nick Confalone
When Rarity and Applejack apply to work at the new Equestria World theme park, a rift forms between them when only Rarity gets hired.

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Sometimes you have to tear things apart before you rebuild. That happened to Garnet (Ruby and Sapphire) after the discovery that Rose Quartz was actually Pink Diamond in disguise and that she faked her shattering with the help of Pearl. It was Pink who didn’t want to destroy the Earth and started a rebellion as Rose—partly inspired by Garnet’s first fusion.

After Amethyst tells Steven that she refuses to unload millennia of her problems onto Steven while he is already dealing with his own feelings in a rare show of maturity in “What’s Your Problem?”, they find Ruby playing cowboy and enjoying her new solitary life—or so it seemed. She can’t stop thinking about Sapphire. Ruby then proposes to Sapphire and that they can be together when apart and can be Garnet when they want to.

Before the wedding, Steven decides to invite a special guest for the 150th episode—Bismuth. Steven convinces Bismuth that the Gems will welcome her with open arms and not attack because she tried to shatter Steven. Bismuth becomes the maid of honor and it’s time for a wedding (after a nice song by Steven).

Ruby and Sapphire become Garnet once again and the party is on before it gets interrupted by Yellow and Pink Diamond. They go after the Cluster, but the Cluster is in control of itself and it fights off Yellow. Meanwhile, Blue Diamond tries to stop everyone through her grief, but Garnet holds her long enough for Lapis to return and smash her with the barn. Joy is only temporary as the Diamonds regroup and unconvinced that Steven is Pink Diamond.

Steven is disembodied temporarily, but can enter people’s, gems’ and diamond’s minds and is finally able to convinced Yellow and Blue of the fake shattering. To be continued for the next arc…

This is by far the best of the Steven Bomb arcs. It basically shattered (no pun intended) the back stories of Rose and making the most of Ruby and Sapphire as individuals and as a couple. Amethyst finally tells Steven what he perhaps needed to be told in that he shouldn’t carry more crosses than need be. And yes, “Reunited” was epic (apart from the sudden ending).

In five episodes, this show is about to put the previous 146 in the past and start off on a new course for whatever is left of Season Five and for Season Six. Sometimes, you have to tear things apart before you rebuild. What has come out of this arc looks magnificent.

GRADES:
“Now We’re Only Falling Apart” B+
“What’s Your Problem” A-
“The Question” A+
“Made of Honor” A
“Reunited” A

StatManDan

“The best-laid plans of mice and men often go awry. No matter how carefully a project is planned, something may still go wrong with it.”
—To A Mouse, by Robert Burns

While the Mane Six and Starlight go on a retreat near the Tree of Harmony, Chrysalis plans to clone versions of the Mane Six to steal the Elements of Harmony—and get revenge on Starlight which she swore to do in the end of “To Where and Back Again”. Things go awry straight away when the clones are more in line from the Discorded Six we saw in “The Return of Harmony.” The Fake Twilight proves to be even more devious when she plans to betray Chrysalis once she and the other clones get the elements.

We go through the standard interactions between real and fake Mane 6 and before the Fake Six go after the Elements and the real Mane Six and Starlight make-up thinking that they were giving each other a hard time. However, the Fake Twilight betrays Chrysalis, but in a twist, the Tree of Harmony grabs the fakes and turns them back into the clumps of wood they were originally. In other words, the Tree knows fakes when it sees them, and Chrysalis flies off in disgust.

Note that the Mane Six and Starlight and Chrysalis do not meet each other (or at least realized it was Chrysalis in disguise at the beginning taking photos and hair samples). So the Mane Six have literally no idea that Chrysalis was around. Chrysalis simply did not think this plan through from not realizing that her clones would embody the opposite of the personalities of the ponies she is cloning. I do give the episode credit for giving the clone Twilight some depth as well. There’s already a meme that she is/was the most competent villain the show has had.

The only bad spot is that the interactions/mix-ups with the real and fake Mane Six get to be a bit tedious throughout the second act. I do like that Twilight stops her group’s bickering by admitting she got carried away with her schedule. It’s not the best of Season Eight, but it is in line with the more recent episodes of the season making that in the higher end of Season Eight.

GRADE: A-

So that is the first half of the season. If I were to rank this episode among the other Episode 13’s of previous seasons, here’s how it would go (I exclude Season Three since that was only 13 episodes):

1. The Perfect Pear (S7)
2. Do Princesses Dream of Magic Sheep (S5)
3. Stranger Than Fan Fiction (S6)
4. The Mean 6 (S8)
5. Simple Ways (S4)
6. Fall-Weather Friends (S1)
7. Baby Cakes (S2)

StatManDan

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813 – “The Mean 6”

Written by: Michael Vogel

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