Monday, 2 May 2016

Episode review: S6E06: "No Second Prances"

Starlight finds her new friend at the spa
"...but I say proper cucumber placement is more important!"
After a one-week mini-hiatus, we returned to new episodes of Friendship is Magic's Season Six with a new story from the pen of Nick Confalone, who previously brought us the reasonable "Party Pooped" and "Hearthbreakers". There had been a fair amount of hype about this episode beforehand, although a good deal of this was down to a certain person on EQD hijacking Fluttershy Day to obsess about the character in question. Poor show, sir. Poor show! Anyway, let's get on with the actual review.

To my immense surprise, this turned out to be far and away my favourite of the three Trixie episodes we've had so far. In fact, it's the first that I can honestly say I really, really liked. She and Starlight Glimmer work amazingly well together, enough so that they've instantly entered my list of "pairings I'd like to see in Friends Forever comics". Their shared heritage of being various shades of evil at various times creates a fun dynamic that we haven't really seen with any other pair of characters.

It's also interesting seeing that Twilight is still very much a flawed character. While I like Twi, I do think it makes "our" ponies feel more real and relatable when they prove themselves not to be perfect. Perhaps her suspicious sneaking around is a little too much like pre-ascension Twilight for this stage in her life, but I can accept that – both in the name of comedy and because as a teacher, she's still only in Season One! For much of the episode, Twilight is in the wrong and the other two in the right, and that role reversal is interesting in itself.

Twilight isn't too impressed by Trixie
"Look, can you get that thing off my ear, please?"
I also enjoy the idea of Twilight asking Starlight to make a new friend for dinner with Celestia. This gives us some entertaining small scenes, in particular the one in which Applejack tries to set Trixie up with her brother. (No, I don't mean it like that. I think.) Still, Angel having a crush on Starlight (Star? Starly?) is a little concerning – though I'm not sure for whom! On a more serious note, Twi learns her own lesson: to do as Celestia did and allow her pupil to make her own decisions.

The dinner party is a silly secondary story, but hey, I laughed. The guests being the crotchety Cranky, the silent (in this episode) Derpy and the silent (in every episode) Vinyl is somehow perfect. Did I say Vinyl? I meant "DJ Pon3", whose name is now unarguably canon. That said, I don't expect the fandom to budge on the issue, since (unlike, say, Minuette) that new canon name is a horrible mouthful. It's also nice to see more from Celestia, although not very much more. Her looking at her fork is brilliant, as is that closing question to her from Cranky.

There are a few things in "No Second Prances" that I'm rather less fond of. One is the actual trick with the manticore. Equestria clearly doesn't have a big problem with using animals for entertainment, but I'm still a bit surprised Fluttershy accepted it with nothing more than a sigh and a swoon. It also seemed a little too risky – what if Starlight hadn't changed her mind? Probably Twilight would have leapt in to save Trixie, but still. Also, the pacing was, as often happens, a bit fast towards the end. Nevertheless, a very enjoyable episode overall!

Pinkie eats a cake. A very tall cake.
"Pinkie, please remember that the normal laws of physics do apply to me!"
Best quote: Trixie, passim: "It's a working title!"

  • Trixie and Starlight are a great double act
  • Flawed!Twilight is more interesting
  • We get a little more Celestia; yay!
  • Some of the best faces in quite a while
  • Some amusing stuff from the background crew
    • A little rushed in its resolution
    • Not that keen on the manticore trick


    1. This comment has been removed by the author.

      1. I don't get it. "I also enjoy the idea of Twilight asking Trixie to make a new friend for Celestia's dinner party." is how that bit starts. What's the problem?

      2. Well, I suppose it wasn't technically Celestia's dinner party, so I've slightly reworded that bit.

      3. This comment has been removed by the author.

      4. Gah, yes! Wow, I really must be tired. Fixed; thanks!

    2. How can you put flawed Twilight as one of the pros? She was acting out of character! For shame, Loganberry. For shame. And I'm still refusing to watch the episode. BTW, I had the images blocked so I wouldn't have to look at scenes from such a stupid episode.

      1. I will not discuss this unless you watch the episode first. Full stop.

      2. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

      3. Uncalled for. No episode is worth getting that worked up over. Go outside or something, take a break.

      4. @GamerBoi42: your post was deleted because of its final sentence, which was disgusting. I would have left the rest to speak for itself, so in the interests of openness here's what you said to me:

        "By not discussing this, you are being a coward. If you don't wanna be a coward, then you will take part in this discussion. Twilight Sparkle is the Princess of Friendship. She is supposed to encourage friendships, not try and prevent them. By trying to prevent Starlight from becoming friends with Trixie, Twilight is behaving out of character. I have no idea why Hasbro would approve of such a stupid episode. And it's a bad influence on the target audience, since they're gonna try and prevent a friend of theirs from being a friend with someone else."

    3. Present Perfect said:
      No episode is worth getting that worked up over.

      It is if the majority are giving it praise, and quite frankly, are too blind to see Twilight behaving out of character.

      1. No, then you write a blog, a civil one, maybe even a long one, about why you think that's so, post it, and accept that people will disagree. Learning to let people be wrong is the first step on the path to peace.

      2. And I already did -