Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Most and Least Rewatchable: Season Five

The Cutie Mark Crusaders about to receive their cutie marks
In which the CMC achieve cold fusion
Things have been pretty busy lately, what with the last four episodes of Season Six coming at such a rush, but I've managed to squeeze in enough time to write this piece. Although I will be doing one for S6, that will not appear in the near future; it may not even be this year. I will try to get it done before S7 kicks into gear in the spring, though. After all, 2017 looks like a really busy year for Pony, perhaps the busiest in G4 history!

Back to S5 now – and "Slice of Life" isn't in either list, so there.

The most rewatchable episodes of S5

3. Amending Fences
This is another episode that would be higher if I were simply ranking on quality. Actually, it would be top; I think M. A. Larson gave us a masterpiece here. It was his very last episode, and what a way to go out. Twilight's attempts to fix her friendship with Moon Dancer are wonderfully portrayed, to the extent that even an extended Pinkie cameo enhances, rather than ruins, the mood. There's even a perfectly-judged callback to the very earliest days of the show. Fantastic all round.

2. The Cutie Map
While New Starlight Glimmer has grown on me since "Every Little Thing She Does", I still think her crowning moment was this, her first appearance as one of the best villains the show has ever had. M. A. Larson and Scott Sonneborn give us such a different episode, and that's part of what makes it so watchable. The song is wonderfully creepy ("...if you never dream"), as are the brainwashed inhabitants of Our Town. With twists and turns galore, plus Pinkie v Fluttershy, I find it hard to stop once I've started on this episode.

1. Crusaders of the Lost Mark
Amy Keating Rogers, you are wonderful. This episode is of course enormously important in the development of the CMC story, and everything about it is great. Yes, it has the odd plot hole – I couldn't give the tiniest stuff about that. Every single time I watch this, knowing every detail of what's about to happen, I at least smile, frequently laugh, sometimes cry and on occasion outright cheer. Silver Spoon's backbone, Diamond Tiara's redemption, some fabulous songs and of course that moment make this my most-rewatched episode in the entire series.

The least rewatchable episodes of S5

3. Princess Spike
Spike had been waiting a long time for a good starring role – and as things turned out, he was going to have to wait another season. Neal Dusedau's episode has an amusing premise, and there's the occasional cute scene (sleeping Twilight, for example) and Cadance is good, but mostly it doesn't work. It represents Spike as an idiot (again) and some of the world-building just feels wrong: "dragon-sneeze trees"? Also, Fancy Pants is not much of a nice guy, which is a shame as his "Sweet and Elite" persona is far preferable.

2. Made in Manehattan
Noelle Benvenuti wrote "Maud Pie", but she couldn't repeat her success in S5. "Made in Manehattan" isn't a total disaster, but it's perhaps the most forgettable Rarity episode of all time. Well, except for "Inspiration Manifestation", which I initially forgot about! Considering that it features Coco Pommel (in her last appearance before "legal issues" stripped her of her first name) it's a huge disappointment that the episode is so extraordinarily dull.

1. What About Discord?
Poor Neal Dusedau – two episodes ever, and they're both in this list. Indeed, "What About Discord?" has a good claim to be the episode I least feel like rewatching in the entire damn series. For one thing, it's a single joke stretched out beyond breaking point – Owlowiscious's "Hoo?" on steroids. I also find the way Twilight's friends treat her pretty distasteful: if you can't relent on your in-jokes when your good friend is clearly upset, you're being a prat. This episode has that Bob Ross joke and... well, that's about it. A failure.


  1. My list is almost the same as your's other than the fact I would have Tanks for the memories over the Cutie map on my most watched list.

    1. That episode has grown on me since I first saw it. Even the song, which I didn't like much at all for a while. S5 is full of good episodes, though.

  2. Looking back through this whole season reaffirms my belief that's it's the best we've had, and really does trump season 6. 'Crusaders of the Lost Mark' is absolute king for me in terms of re-watches. 'Rarity Investigates' is also firmly up there, and I'd include 'Slice of Life' too. It may not be a conventional episode in any real sense, but's sure as hell a ton of fun.

    As for the other end, agreed on 'What About Discord' and ''Made in Manehatten'. I'd also put 'Brotherhooves Social' in there; despite the brilliant ending scene, I can't really enjoy Big Mac doing his 'female' voice for the most part.

    1. I think S5 is very good, though it did have a bit of a dip near the end that was only really arrested with "The Mane Attraction" and the finale. I love "Rarity Investigates!" and in a weaker season it would have been in the list. "Brotherhooves Social" is somewhere in the middle for me, I suppose.

  3. I couldn't agree with you more (finally!... Wait, except that CMC is from S1 <.< You're talking about Crusaders of the Lost Mark.) Amending Fences is absolutely the best episode in the season if not the series, but I'd more rather watch Crusaders or the Cutie Map and just roll around in the memory of that episode instead.

    1. I don't deny that 'Amending Fences' is a wonderful episode, or that it's very popular. But I've very rarely rewatched it all the way through; I just watch Minuette's scenes over and over.
      I don't watch the whole thing because, quite simply, I don't enjoy rewatching scenes that are meant to be upsetting (which this episode has a bunch of). The first time seeing them is generally OK because I'm not expecting it. I never really rewatch 'Tanks for the Memories' for the same reason.

    2. Post edited; thanks! As for "Amending Fences", I'm not as much of a Minuette fan as some people around here (though I think she's great in that episode) and I actually like to watch the Twilight/MD conflicts. That scene where she initially rebuffs Twi's efforts to throw her a party is great. The fact I know it'll all work out in the end is very important, of course!