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(2/3/2018: Updated with Season Seven)

To basically “sum up” all of my reviews, here’s is a quick reference guide:

OVERALL RATINGS

Season One: 3.04

Season Two: 3.00

Season Three: 2.88

Season Four: 3.02

Season Five: 3.17

Season Six: 2.96

Season Seven: 3.23

So pretty much every season averaged out the same, but with a large set of phenomenal episodes Season Seven takes the crown in spite of a lackluster finale.

MY PICKS FOR TOP TEN BEST EPISODES

 

10. “Sisterhooves Social” from Season Two

Loaded with “feels”, “cuteness”, another “believable” plot, and demonstrates the ability of the writers to take a character to the brink of repulsiveness and then bring them back.

9. “Luna Eclipsed” from Season Two

Princess Luna’s return “in style” with lots of Halloween-based fun, genuine “feel” moments, and an origin of show backstory and memes.

8. “The Return of Harmony” from Season Two

Season Two opens with a bang with this episode with a “Knight of Cerberus” villain, lots of intrigue and dread as well as imagination, and a double whammy of the original theme of “friendship is magic”.

7. “Slice of Life” from Season Five

…Do I really need to explain why this is in the top ten?

6. “A Dog and Pony Show” from Season One

The episode that proved the show could do both interesting villains as well as more “intelligent” humor than would be expected from a Y-rated show, and is just plain tons of fun.

5. “Sleepless in Ponyville” from Season Three

Scootaloo’s first time headlining an episode with loads of cuteness and “awws” with Rainbow Dash, Princess Luna’s surprising role, and still managing to feature “accurate” portrayals of Rarity, Applejack, Apple Bloom, and Sweetie Belle.

4. “A Royal Problem” from Season Seven

An amazing episode that finally highlighted the two original princesses of Equestria, had lots of fun and dramatic moments, and highlighted who might go down in history as the best one-shot character of the series: Daybreaker.

3. “Twilight’s Kingdom” from Season Four

Fantastic villain, fantastic drama, fantastic artwork, fantastic battle, and showed the series wasn’t “done yet”.

2. “Crusaders of the Lost Mark” from Season Five

It was everything that “Magical Mystery Cure” tried to be, had fantastic music, feels, and even sympathy for one of the show’s longest-running minor antagonists.

1. “The Perfect Pear” from Season Seven

How ironic that Applejack, who has the history of being the blandest of the Mane Six, could end up having the most touching, emotional, and bittersweet episode in the entire series.

BEST CHARACTER EPISODE

Twilight Sparkle – “Twilight’s Kingdom”

Not only is it her at her most “badass”, her moment with Discord shows why she really does embody “friendship”.

Applejack – “The Perfect Pear”

Technically she’s not the focus of this episode (I would even argue it’s not Bright Mac or Pear Butter either, but Grand Pear), but she was the character of the Mane Six it concerned, so I’ll go with it.

Fluttershy – “Discordant Harmony”

After years of thinking that Fluttershy befriended Discord mostly out of pity or due to her nature, this episode makes a believable case for how they “get each other”.

Rarity – “A Dog and Pony Show”

Rarity at her most hilarious in the show’s history.

Pinkie Pie – “Feeling Pinkie Keen”

Pinkie Pie at her most cartoony ever (except maybe in “A Friend in Deed”).

Rainbow Dash – “Rainbow Falls”

Rainbow Dash stands up for her own integrity and loyalty. It would have been “Wonderbolts Academy”, which might have been my pick for best episode in the series, if it wasn’t for the “have-it-all” ending.

CMCs – “Crusaders of the Lost Mark”

I’ve already kind of touched on this…but an overall fantastic episode highlighting how the sub-main characters have grown over five seasons and paving the way for continued growth in the future. Plus they sound great singing together.

Apple Bloom – “The Perfect Pear”

Well, see my comments on Applejack.

Sweetie Belle – “For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils”

But…it’s also the “worst” episode as it’s the only one she’s headlined more-or-less solo…

Scootaloo – “Sleepless in Ponyville”

But, again, she’s only really headlined two of them…

Spike – “The Times They Are a Changeling”

The biggest opportunity to shine for Spike ever, and his one slip-up isn’t nearly as bad as the times he’s shown off his more negative qualities in other episodes. Also…the song wasn’t that bad. There, I said it.

Starlight Glimmer – “A Royal Problem”

Similar to “The Perfect Pear”, she’s not the focus of this one, but this still highlights all of her character aspects, both negative and positive, and shows how they work together to solve a peculiar friendship problem.

MY PICKS FOR TOP TEN WORST EPISODES

10. “To Where and Back Again” from Season Six

Trying to make a new character look good by making her practically the main hero of an episode is bad enough, but making every other character look bad by having them get incapacitated by something that happened “off screen” to make her look good is just plain lazy.

9. “The Last Roundup” from Season Two

Aside from being the episode that “killed Derpy”, Applejack is practically OOC in her violations of “honesty” and Pinkie Pie and Rarity being ditched at the end flubs the moral.

8. “Ponyville Confidential” from Season Two

While the moral is important, everyone in Ponyville is a hypocrite for being so hard on the CMCs when they thought what they were doing was fine until they were slandered themselves.

7. “Scare Master” from Season Five

Again, the moral has value, but to me it’s overshadowed by degenerating Fluttershy beyond her normal shy, reserved, and timid self into a blatant coward; something I feel was moved past way back in “Dragonshy”.

6. “Simple Ways” from Season Four

The unexpected and almost OOC turn of Rarity into a love-smitten ditz combined with the weak continuous joke of “Rarity trying to be more country” for an altogether unremarkable episode.

5. “Hearts and Hooves Day” from Season Two

Trying to feature romance on a Y-rated show combined with a moral confounded by a character in the season finale equals a disaster.

4. “Apple Family Reunion” from Season Three

About as boring as being a five-year-old at your own family reunion, it’s not funny, not exciting, not poignant, and honestly hard to stay awake through.

3. “Castle Mane-Ia” from Season Four

All of the cliches of the worst episode of “Scooby-Doo” with none of the humor and an unsatisfying payoff.

2. “Princess Twilight Sparkle” from Season Four

Nightmare Moon, Chrysalis, Sombra, evil vines. One of these things is not like the other. After the ambiguous end to Season Three, an incredibly weak “payoff” in an ultimately dull, contrived, and uninteresting season premiere.

1. “The Cutie Re-Mark” from Season Five

The biggest highlight of the episode is callbacks that ultimately serve little purpose other than callbacks. Starlight Glimmer ends up being practically Villain Sue after a great first appearance, and then gets hastily shoved into the same role Sunset Shimmer serves in the “Equestria Girls” franchise due to poor writing and fears of being “too dark”, ending up with a great big mess.

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