Quantcast

My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - Episodes of Harmony

 

Well
it’s finally here. Season two of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic.
It starts with “1-2″. I can’t help but to
be reminded that season one also began with a two part episode.
That’s when an idea occurred to me that just felt right. Instead of
merely writing a recap for the second season’s beginning, why not
also compare it with the first seasons beginning. So that’s what I’m
doing! First let’s go over the premises. Season one began with “The
Elements of Harmony Parts 1-2″. The premise for that episode (in my
own words) is: When the evil Nightmare Moon escapes from the moon
it’s up to Twilight Sparkle and her new friends to find and use the
Elements of Harmony, which are the only things capable of stopping
Nightmare Moon.
There’s a lot
more to the episode than that but it was only the premise. The
premise for season two’s ‘The Return of Harmony’ is:
The
spirit of chaos, Discord, escapes from his stone prison so Twilight
and friends must once again wield the Elements of Harmony to stop
him.

What
makes a great story are the characters. Characters should weave
together the plot. Even if the plot is weak, well done characters can
still make it work. But the greatest of plots can be ruined by bad
characters. So I believe it’s important to go over the characters in
depth. However, I assume most people reading this already know who
the six main characters are. So instead I’ll focus on the other
important characters from these two episodes. And that would be the
villains. What makes a great villain? Same three things that make any
character great. Past, the characters back story and why are they the
way they are today. Present, what the character is currently doing
and like. And future, what is the characters goal and ambitions. For
a great character those three Elements must flow together in harmony.
If they don’t flow together that’s usually a sign of a bad character.
I’ve went over the makings of a character. So now let’s examine the
villains.


Season
one begins with the villain Luna AKA Nightmare Moon. Past: Luna is
Princess Celestia’s younger sister. Once they ruled together.
Celestia over the day and Luna over the night. Unfortunately Luna
grew to resent her sister out of jealously. She mistakenly believed
that the ponies of the world were shunning her night. While in
reality they were taking advantage of its peace to rest. She most
likely kept it bottled up, it’s always the quiet ones, until she
couldn’t take it anymore. She turned against her sister and tried to
plunge the world into eternal night. So she was banished to the moon
for a thousand years (harsh). Present: Once free from the moon she’s
out for revenge. And continues where she left off before being
stopped, by once more plunging the world into eternal night. Future:
Her goal is simple enough. Keep it night eternally and make sure no
one stops her. No further plans of hers, if there are any, are
revealed. My opinion: I love Luna. She is such a great and well
thought out character. She’s not evil. Just bitter, sad, lonely, and
lashing out. It’s quite unique considering all the villains I’ve
seen.

For
season two the villain is Discord AKA The Spirit of Chaos. Past: Not
much is known about his personal past. However it is known that he
filled the world with discord and was sealed away in stone for doing
so. Present: He’s evil due to selfishness, quite intelligent, and
prepared. He comes off as a bit playful and definitely enjoys it when
things go his way. But he’s not a goofy villain. Future: His goal is
to drown the world in his element and destroy harmony. My opinion:
Discord is a totally different villain than Luna. A fact which I
greatly enjoy. I don’t want another villain who’s same as the last.
And this villain is actually evil. Fueled by his selfish desire to
fill the whole world with his element. Yes, discord is an element.
After all the seasons change and the weather isn’t always the same,
that’s a form of discord.

Now
it’s time to to go over the episodes.
‘Elements of Harmony
Part 1′ begins by introducing viewers to some lore of Equestria. It’s
done in a unique and interesting style that I love, involving a book
being read aloud. The lore ends before it’s gets dragged on for too
long. Next the episode shows the first main character, Twilight
Sparkle, as she discovers that soon everything will align and
Nightmare Moon will be able to escape. So she immediately sends word
to the Princess, who tells her to get her head out of books and make
some friends. And so Twilight is sent to Ponyville with the
assignment to check on the preparations for some event (Summer Sun
Celebration) and make some friends. Twilight doesn’t really care and
promptly decides to finish her chores as quickly as possible so she
can find some proof that she’s right. The preparations take longer
than first thought to complete and the other five main characters are
all introduced along the way. Each introduction is unique and
entertaining. Ultimately it’s too late and Nightmare Moon escapes.
The episode ends there in suspense. Questions left unanswered, like
where is Princess Celestia? This one left me in suspense when I first
saw it.

‘Elements
of Harmony Part 2′ continues right where Part 1 left off. Nightmare
Moon flees and Twilight quickly returns home to study and learn more
about the Elements of Harmony, so she can stop the villain. Soon
however the other five main characters demand to know what’s going
on, since she seems to know. So Twilight tells them and soon off the
six go on a quest to obtain the Elements. As they travel each of the
six face a trial sent by Nightmare Moon to stop them. It may seem a
bit overly balanced that each character gets a trial. But this is
their first adventure, so it’s to be expected. Plus I like how it
adds to the epic quest vibe of the episode. Each trial is well
constructed and unique. All leading up to the final confrontation
with Nightmare Moon. I won’t spoil what happens, but I loved it. All
the emotions were just right and it was beautifully done. To those
who don’t like the ending do try to remember that Luna (Nightmare
Moon) was never actually evil. She was in a lot of pain and lashing
out.

When
both part of “Elements of Harmony” are put together you get something
that is truly is an epic quest! It’s incredible how much they were
able to put into the episode. Plus everything is so well thought out
with plenty of depth. It feels longer than it is, like a whole movie.
Yet despite everything packed into it nothing feels shortchanged or
rushed. A true testament to the skill of those involved in making it.
If I hadn’t already known I would’ve never guessed that this is the
first episode. A perfect start to the season and the whole series.

Now
let’s see how well season two begins. ‘The Return of Harmony’ begins
with a school field trip at a sculpture garden. Upon seeing a statue
of discord and asked what it means a certain group of three ponies
get into an argument. It quickly turns into a fight. The fight is a
bit intense, but it doesn’t feel odd. It’s obvious that the three
friends are having a bad day. It happens. And the argument is
realistic enough. The only odd part is that the fighting is enough to
awaken Discord. However, later that is explained in a satisfactory
manner. After that we’re shown Discord’s effect beginning to touch
the world and the six main characters reaction to that. Soon they’re
called in by Princess Celestia and more of the worlds history is
explained. I love that fact and this time it’s done with stain glass
windows. Brilliant! Point is only the Elements of Harmony can stop
Discord, but they’ve been stolen by him. Discord gives them a riddle.
They interpret it one way and it leads them to a giant hedge maze
where they search for the elements. They get separated and face
trials from the bad guy. That might sound annoying since the show has
already done something like that. But it’s not so bad. Partly because
the main characters are losing. Once they fail Discord is able to
exert his power over them. Thus changing them for the worst and
turning them gray. Ultimately Twilight is the only one left who can
save her friends. Which doesn’t leave me in suspense. I’m fully aware
that she’s capable of finding a solution.

There’s
something else that really annoys me about this episode. Twilight
doesn’t face a trial, and I can easily imagine what her trial
would’ve been. I don’t think she would’ve won. But Fluttershy
actually beat her trial only to lose…? What happened, that’s
totally unfair! It seems to me that the writers chose the direction
to take and began to write the script. Then at a certain point the
story wanted to flow in another direction. And they forced it not to.
That was wrong! As a writer it’s of the utmost importance to know
when to compel the story and when to let it flow naturally. (Trust
me, I know.) The flaw makes the ending not as suspenseful and takes
Part 1 down a notch. But it can still be saved by part two.

Unfortunately
Part 2 of “Return of Harmony” is worse. I don’t even want to go over
its plot, but if I must… Discord has succeeded at his plan and
ruined the ponies friendship. Without their friendship the Elements
of Harmony no longer work. Twilight gives up hope only to regain it
and to restore her friends one by one. Then they band together to
defeat Discord. What’s wrong with this plot? It’s just so incredibly
predictable. I know this show sometimes uses concepts that we’ve all
seen before, but even then it makes the idea its own. Adding plenty
of its own originality and style. But this one doesn’t do that. It
only follows the most predictable route. I wasn’t even surprised or
interested by how Twilight restored her friends. It was the least
creative solution they could’ve used. So what do you get when you put
both halves of “Return of Harmony” together? A great episode that
trips and fall onto its face midway through without recovering. It’s
sad. I was expecting so much better. I’ve seen the show do so much
better.

Well
it was certainly interesting comparing the two season premieres. I
didn’t expect them to be such opposites when I started, as I hadn’t
seen part two of “Return of Harmony” yet. The premiere of season one
is the clear winner. I thought this was never meant to be a
competition. Still “Return of Harmony” doesn’t quell my excitement to
see more of season two. Even the best of shows have episodes that
aren’t worth bragging about. Besides, with a premiere like that, the
second season has almost nowhere to go but up. And I’m looking
forward to that.

Related Content from ZergNet:

Speak Your Mind

Single Sign On provided by vBSSO