Friday, 21 April 2017

Episode review: S7E02: "All Bottled Up"

Yesterday marked the fifth anniversary of my Fimfiction account, and I got a rather pleasant surprise to mark the date. More on that in a couple of days, but my priority for now is getting last weekend's episode reviewing finished.

Trixie and a rather angry Starlight
Starlight doesn't half go through manestyles :P
It really doesn't seem like a week since my last episode review post, does it? ;) Anyway, Season Seven's episode two is not just a continuation of episode one, although it does share the same writers and some of the same central characters. As with the previous review, this one will be fairly short, though that's partly because I'm short of time before the next ep appears! Not that my reviews are generally vastly detailed anyway, of course. Past the break for the low-down.

As with the first episode, this one is fairly low-stakes and could have fitted into the middle of a season reasonably comfortably. It is also Starlight-heavy. Let's face it, if what you want out of Pony is for Glimmy to be given a harder time, I suspect you're not going to be thrilled this season. I'm not entirely happy myself with some aspects of her post-redemption development, but as I said last week what I want from the show is a fun 22 minutes. I doubt it would have made seven seasons in the first place if it still worked like S1 did.

This ep is largely about the dynamic between Starlight and Trixie, which ends up being pretty funny. Some people on Equestria Daily have decided that they're basically being shipped by the writers, but I think that's just the usual thing of fans reading way too much into stuff. They're obviously close and physically affectionate, but so are the Mane Six. Talking of whom, Twilight and co provide the backup plot with their "Manehattan Escapes" visit. (Note to show: other cities are available.) It's slight, but breaks things up well enough.

Twilight's checklist of the other Mane Sixers
I think this is a ballot paper I could get behind!
Actually, the cuts between the two storylines are amusing, especially in the way the dialogue is made to match – this is one of the best episodes I can remember on that score. There's some really fun writing this time round, even if a lot of it does consist of the word "teacup"! Bulk Biceps line about wearing many hats is golden, and Trixie obliviously (I think!) winding up Starlight by calling her "mini-Twilight" amuses me enormously. "Trix" does seem more obnoxious than usual, though, with no real explanation for that.

I really like the explanation Starlight tries to give to Trixie about how simply making something disappear is impossible. That's the sort of magic limitation that I've always liked in the show's lore – another example being the lack of pony healing magic – and it makes perfect sense. The reason for the map table ending up in the spa is contrived, but it's still funny so I'll accept it. I'm also interested in the almost throwaway comment by Trixie that Starlight was becoming boring. Will that have future relevance?

"All Bottled Up" brings us our first song of S7. Unfortunately, it's not one that impresses me much. It's mildly catchy – but it's not particularly memorable, it contains some badly smushed-in lines ("a door with a key" has entirely the wrong stresses to go where it does) and its style fits Equestria Girls more than it does Friendship is Magic. The visuals are a bit on the uninspired side, too. The one thing I do love about the song is the way it's incorporated into the plot. I've always liked it when that happens, going right back to "Giggle at the Ghostly" in S1E02.

Angry, red-eyed ponies surrounding Trixie
Granny Smith most definitely looks the most sinister of the lot
My complaints about the episode are relatively minor, however, and they do no more than knock the episode down from a low-end four to a top-end three. While I think Trixie (like Discord) is a character who needs to be served in small and widely spaced doses, she is a good foil for Starlight here. Glimmy's "storm cloud" comes out of nowhere and isn't really that well explained, but again it serves the plot. And, most of all, this is a funny episode. It does look from the way S7 has started as though Lewis and Songco will bring us some fine dialogue.

Best quote: Trixie: "Teacup! Teacup! Teacup! Teacup!"

  • Starlight and Glimmer make a fun double act
  • "Disappearing" really being teleportation – still tricky, note
  • Bulk Biceps and his multiple jobs
  • Some very amusing dialogue throughout the episode
  • The Mane Six wrecking their prospects by singing
  • The song itself is a bit below par
  • Trixie's annoying personality is played up too much
  • It's fun filler, but it is still filler


  1. I like how they explain Starlight's overpowerness come from, it's from her emotion and she kinda emotional driven pony, it made sense.

    I think this ep improve the friendship between Starlight and Trixie, i predicted Starlight will take Trixie's words to heart to be more passionate, lively and sometime angry,because nice is boring :)) so i dont think this ep is too "filler", even it is a filler, it isnt a sin, especially in this series which doesnt focus too much on story arcs anyway

    They introducted Princess of Teacups :))

    I like the dialogue transition between Starlight&Trixie and Mane 6, like this:
    Rainbow Dash: I'm not. I knew we were the best!
    Granny Smith: You're the worst!

    Starlight is mini-Twilight, she is confirmed to be Twilight's clone :D

    1. Of course, if Starlight is Twilight's clone, she'll be made an alicorn at the end of her third season... which is this one! :P

  2. Actually, part of the reason I enjoyed this episode was because Trixie was giving Starlight a hard time. :V I'm all for more of that!

    1. I suspect you'd enjoy an episode entirely filled with everypony yelling insults at Starlight. :P

    2. Only if they punished her for flying off the handle and mind-controlling them all into shutting up.

      That's literally her only solution to anything. :B