[source] 406 - “The Ponyhead Show!; Surviving the Spiderbites” Written by: Kristen Gish, Amelia Lorenz; Gina Gress, Cassie Zwart "Star asks for Pony Head's help to increase Eclipsa's popularity.; Star… (More)
The episode begins with Scootaloo fast-tracking the meeting of the Rainbow Dash Fan Club with a new Washouts fan group—which makes an eavesdropping Rainbow Dash worried that she has competition… (More)
First of all, I do want to set things a bit clear with regards to MLP’s ratings for “Newbie Dash”. Yes, its viewership was at 190,000 last Saturday and that’s the low-water mark this season. Of course, some of the fandom look at those numbers and turn into the zebras from The Lion Guard. Lack of marketing from Discovery Family does not help in the slightest.
What’s also noteworthy here is the P18-49 rating (.09) which was in the top 150 among original cable programming. “Gauntlet of Fire” was not in the top 150 during it’s day. And as always, a significant percentage of the fandom view the show by means other than Discovery Family and are not included in those numbers. It’s simply more pronounced for this show than most others on television.
Next up for MLP is “Hearth’s Warming Tale” this last Saturday at 11:30am ET/10:30am CT on Discovery Family.
On to Steven Universe after a four-month hiatus, Season Three is off to a flyer as the pairing of “Super Watermelon Island” and “Gem Drill” fused for the most-viewed toon on Thursday night. It drew an estimated 1.693 million on Cartoon Network, beating out ALVINNN! and the Chipmunks on Nickelodeon (1.594M) which aired 90 minutes earlier. Steven provided boosts for both Regular Show (1.402M) and Adventure Time (1.381M), both of which received their biggest numbers since last September for the former and January for the latter.
Next up is “Same Old World” on Thursday night at 7pm ET/6pm CT on Cartoon Network.
Ratings information for this report comes courtesy of Mitch Metcalf of Showbuzz Daily as measured by Nielsen Media Research.
It’s the 100th episode of Littlest Pet Shop, but it is a bit of a bittersweet moment since there are just four more episodes after this one. Anyway, a sweet shop on wheels named “Taking It to The Sweet” arrives on the scene and that means trouble for “Sweet Delights” and Aunt Christie. This calls for one of Blythe’s distant cousins! That’s the A-plot. The B-plot is that Sunil has told his parents that he is a doctor, so he calls on the fellow pets to help him convince them that’s the case.
Enter Bobby Destructo! He goes Extreme Makeover on Sweet Delights. (It was either this or Gordon Ramsay, I guess.) It’s not super effective and there were a few code violations in the renovation since frost spackle is not as sticky as regular spackle. What finally wins the customers over is Aunt Christie’s never-the-same-cookie cookies. And the sweet shop on wheels goes to another spot.
Meanwhile, the pets put on a web show for Sunil’s parents to convince them he’s a doctor. Of course, given that Vinnie is the director, it’s a bit unbelievable that Zoe could play Minka’s mother, insist that Russell be referred to as a “male” nurse, and tell Penny Ling her acting was not good enough (cue ocular gushers!). They did get some terminology right. Pepper was the cameraskunk. It was still funny overall. The cover is ultimately blown when Sunil’s parents make a surprise visit (via their owners?). While they’re not happy he lied to them, they are glad he has the talent to make a film (after a save by the pets about his character).
Again, it is hard for this episode to have that special feeling to it since it’s been known for sometime that the end is nigh for the series, but this was a plausible effort. However, the A-plot went downhill a bit once Bobby was introduced and it bordered on a “We Could Have Avoided This” plot since the cookies saved the day there. The fake hospital scene was actually funny with Zoe and Russell pointing out the obvious flaws in the casting and production.
Again, a plausible effort with a few funny moments, but this won’t be best remembered, 100th episode or not.
Before you complain about a holiday episode in May, please keep in mind that scheduling of the show is controlled by Discovery Family. End of story. Now, onto the review.
It’s Hearth’s Warming Eve again (almost seven months after “Hearthbreakers” aired). The party this year is at Twilight’s Castle, but Starlight Glimmer is not quite in the mood. So, Twilight tells Starlight the story of “A Hearth’s Warming Tale”. In this fantasy sequence, Starlight plays the role of Snowflake Frost, who is the Scrooge of this story. She can’t stand Hearth’s Warming Eve and wants to do away with it via spell.
Of course, doing so might bring back the Windigos. The story pretty much follows the Dickens classic, but it has its twists that make it stand out. It even has its own version of Snape who’s even bigger a Scrooge than our main character in this story. This is where I’ll stop describing things because you simply have to see it to believe it. I was actually surprised at the pony they chose to be the Spirit of Hearth’s Warming to Come and the song that followed.
This the fourth musical episode in the series and the last two are two of the best episodes the series has had so far. This episode stands to be the best of the three Hearth’s Warming Eve episodes by a mile. The songs were wonderful, the effects were amazing, and it’s just full of good cheer (even though it’s May in our world). It’s simply a wonderful episode that hopefully will be played every Holiday season (and a soundtrack to follow on iTunes in the near future!).
It is officially Season Three and the start of the “In Too Deep” arc. We’re back on Mask Island where the Watermelon Stevens have established a village. However, Malachite is nearby and the Crystal Gems warp to the island while Steven enters via sleep and possesses the body of one of the watermelons. The gems fuse to form Alexandrite and battle Malachite free of her chains. Malachite initially has the upper hand before Steven rallies the rest of the watermelons to fight. They do just enough to give Alexandrite the upper hand on Malachite an poof her with an arrow leaving an unconscious Jasper and Lapis Lazuli. The can’t celebrate for long as the Cluster is starting to do its work. Steven must now go back to Earth and help Peridot. That leads to…..
Steven wakes up and he and Peridot go down towards the Cluster via the drill. The plan is…to drill. They pass by some peridotite which is liquified form of Peridot. Peridot says that she can’t remember what happened, having only feelings of them. She says that even though she consciously rebelled against Homeworld, she still has difficulty getting over her feelings from growing up on her home planet, but she now has the company of Steven and the Crystal Gems—the kind of companionship she didn’t have on Homeworld.
After fighting off some mutant gems, they get to the Cluster which is comprised of millions of shards of gems and it appears that they are about to form. The drill not working, Steven finds himself italking to the Cluster and learns that the Cluster is obsessed with trying to form. He tries to convince the Cluster not to form and instead try to find other pieces of itself. Seeing as how the Cluster wants to be whole again, it will end up destroying the Earth along with all the other pieces of itself buried within it. He shows them that perhaps all they need is company and the Cluster finally realizes that it doesn’t need to be whole to achieve that purpose, as there are billions of Gems within itself. Steven bubbles a few of them, but it ends up panicking as it begins to uncontrollably take form.
Steven wakes up and tells Peridot that the shards need to be bubbled, but they end up doing it themselves and its crisis averted as it forms one giant bubble. It has no reason to form as a whole. The Gems return with an unconscious Lapis while the Cluster is at peace.
This is a terrific start to the third season. We get a return to Mask Island to see all the Watermelon Stevens, the Return of Malachite (Jasper and Lapis), the return of Alexandrite, and we finally get to see the Cluster. The battle scene was well-played as it was part Lilliputians from Gulliver’s Travels and part Avatar: The Last Airbender. Even Peridot shines with how well she designs the drill complete with controllers to blast mutant gems. The Cluster seems at peace for now, but it does leave just enough open to be resolved such as the fates of Lapis and Jasper and what might Yellow Diamond do next after the Cluster has been bubbled. There was a reason why these upcoming episodes were not being released in “Steven Bomb” format.
Overall, everything just flowed smoothly and these episodes worked well together as a half hour airing. Of course, Cartoon Network declared this to be the start of Season Three instead of the second half of Season Two. “Ocean Gem” and “Mirror Gem” was originally set to be the Season One finale before Cartoon Network doubled the season to 52 episodes. If anything, the only thing this episode suffers from is CN’s definition of what starts a season and what ends it, but that’s a nitpick. It does not take away from what was a super start to “In Too Deep” arc.
Pluses and Minuses:
+ Many happy returns
+ Peridot and her drill
+ Both episodes work well as a half hour one.
+ Battle scene in “Super Watermelon Island”
+ Leaves door open for subplots