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(3/12/2017: Updated with Season Six)

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

So pretty much every season averaged out the same. Season Six barely managed to avoid being listed as the worst season in my opinion due to most of the episodes merely being average and few being “bad”.

MY PICKS FOR TOP TEN BEST EPISODES

10. “For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils” from Season Four

The first episode to focus mainly on Sweetie Belle, conveys a sense of both mystery and power to Princess Luna, and some of the most imaginative sequences ever to come out of the show. Has a lot of “heart” too.

9. “A Hearth’s Warming Tail” from Season Six

The most fun episode of Season Six with some great music, imaginative art, and oddly enough the best and most sympathetic use of Starlight Glimmer thus far.

8. “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.

7. “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.

6. “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”.

5. “Slice of Life” from Season Five

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

4. “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.

3. “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.

2. “Twilight’s Kingdom” from Season Four

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

1. “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.

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 – “Bats!”

Most people only remember Fluttershy, but it takes place on Sweet Apple Acres and she’s the one who “learns the lesson” at the end; so that makes this an Applejack episode to me.

Fluttershy – “It Ain’t Easy Being Breezies”

Fluttershy learns that being “kind” doesn’t mean “doing everything for someone” but sometimes means forcing them to do things they don’t want.

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 – “Brotherhooves Social”

This is a bit of a cheat because it’s mostly the one-and-only episode to highlight Big Macintosh, but it touched me personally on the relationship between an older brother and a younger sister, as I have a younger sister I brought into the fandom myself.

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 – “Every Little Thing She Does”

She may not be at her most “positive” in this episode, but she was never meant to be that sort of character to begin with. This episode does what “The Cutie Re-Mark” failed to do and makes her look like she’s believably trying while not ignoring her character flaws.

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, Sombre, 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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