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MLP: Friendship is Magic “Secret of My Excess” Recap

by on December 13, 2011

Spike’s birthday and he’s getting gifts galore. Then he discovers he can
get even more by telling everyone that it’s his birthday. Greed soon
sets in. Like greed usually does to a person it causes Spike to grow
into a giant rampaging monster… Well, at least that’s usual for
dragons (apparently).

Little Pony: Friendship is Magic
is a show which focuses on ponies
(weren’t expecting that species now were you). There are six main
characters plus a myriad of supporting characters. It’s already
amazing how well this show handles all those characters.
On top of that the show also occasionally focuses the spotlight of an
episode on a minor character, a fact which I both respect and
appreciate. “Secret to My Excess” focuses its spotlight on Spike.
Spike is a young dragon as well as Twilight’s personal assistant.
This episode also revealed more of how dragons work in that world,
which was interesting but also left a lot of questions. The episode itself was great,
except for one major aspect… however there’s no need to get ahead of
myself. Let’s first go over the events that lead up to the issue.

to My Excess” begins with Twilight relaxing and reshelving the books
at the library where she both works and lives. Everything’s going
great until Spike unintentionally interrupts causing Twilight to lose
focus, thus creating a mess. Spike’s excited since he has a Fire Ruby
he’s been aging for months, for his birthday, which is almost ready
(dragons eat gemstones in this series). The set up does a great job
of what it’s meant to do, both introducing the Fire Ruby which is
very important to the plot, as well as informing the audience that
Spike’s birthday is coming up soon. Next scene takes place directly
after the previous one. Rarity arrives at the library to obtain a
book on the history of fashion. She instantly notices the rare and valuable Fire Ruby. Rarity of course isn’t at all excited at the
prospect of the gem being eaten. Now Spike just so happens to have a
crush on Rarity, a fact of which she’s fully aware of. So Rarity uses
her charm to get the gem. And ultimately Spike is satisfied with the
result. Next we get to Spike’s birthday. Everything is great until
Spike leaves to go get a birthday surprise waiting for him at
Sugarcube Corner. While out, he accidentally bumps into an even more
minor character and soon discovers he can get free stuff just by
letting other ponies know it’s his birthday. So begins the greed. The
scene itself is nice since it gives some lines to several minor and
background characters. Despite being found out and scolded by
Twilight, Spike just lies and continues down the path of greed. Cut
to the next day, Twilight awakens and is shocked to discover that
Spike has literally doubled in height. Twilight quickly seeks an
answer in books and Spike has difficultly focusing as everything
around him suddenly seems desirable. The two set out to find answers
by visiting the doctor, the vet, and finally Zecora. The only unusual
thing is that they didn’t visit Fluttershy. However, she was probably
next on their list as Zecora provides the answers they seek. Turns
out growing up and greed are connected for dragons, so the greedier
Spike gets the more his body matures. It seems this
is merely an alternate way a dragon can
grow up. From there Spike ends up giving into the greed
and growing into a giant rampaging monster.

episode has all the usual greatness of the show. Superb and
believable characters, wonderful humor, and it’s just pure
entertainment. There’s even a great facial expression of
Pinkie Pie shocked, which derives it’s entertainment from the fact
that she’s usually so unfazed by everything. This show has a habit of
often taking ideas we’ve seen many times before and then making them
original through the unique way the idea is executed. This can sometimes be a fine line. But still, originality is more about how it’s done, than what is done.
Unfortunately, this episode takes it too far and chooses something so
overly clich���© that no amount of originality can fully save it. A
certain parody. I don’t even want to write it down, but I have no
choice. Simply put Spike turns into a giant monster, grabs a damsel
in distress (Rarity), the Wonderbolts come flying in (all you need to
know about them for now is they can fly) and zoom around Spike’s
head, and so he decides to climb a nearby mountain… Sounds familiar?
There are certain parodies so often done that I’m sick and tired of seeing
them. They shouldn’t be done again for 10-20 years at least, if ever! There was even a topic about this recently. This episode should’ve tried
something more original, such as a parody of those cheesy Japanese
monster movies (I could so see Pinkie Pie talking without her lip
sync matching her dialogue and it would actually make sense for her character).

Now don’t get me wrong, this is a great episode
that takes something too often done and does an excellent job adding it’s
own unique twist to it. Unfortunately, that only greatly softens the
groan inducing moment of annoyance when the show takes an even more traveled path. Also, I greatly enjoyed the humor
added to some of the scenes, such as Rarity being more offended about her cape
tearing since she would expect the other uncouth behaviors from a
rampaging dragon.

also love the relationship between Spike and Rarity. It’s the best
part of the episode. Spike’s crush isn’t annoying or over-the-top, in
fact it’s quite well played and really adds to his character. Rarity
has genuine affection for him, as a friend (as I believe it should
stay). And even though she used her charm to get the Fire Ruby she
really did fully appreciate the gift. I recommend this episode but
not to anyone who isn’t already a fan of the show. As I wouldn’t want
those new to think it regularly does annoying parodies or
anything, since it doesn’t. Still, I greatly enjoyed this episode.

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