At long last, after a delay of six months, Season Five of “My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic” is nearly upon us. The season premiere is April 4th. I can’t wait. Season Four had its ups and down, in my opinion. If it was down, it was really down, but when it was up, it was really up. So I don’t think the franchise is dead by any means yet…and, for goodness sakes, if “Spongebob Squarepants” is still going strong after all these years and rakes in over a million viewers on their worst episodes, then this show shouldn’t be done yet if there’s any sanity left in the world.
So that asks the big question…what things would I like to see in Season Five that would make it the Best. Season. Ever?
Just seeing one of these would please me. Seeing two or three would make me ecstatic. I don’t think I’m lucky enough to get them all, especially since some of them are too extreme to really be plausible, but…a man can dream.
10. A Y7-rated episode.
If you’re a fan of the Season Four finale (and you probably are), you realize they probably had to have a network censor peering over their shoulder the whole time to make sure that fight sequence stayed solidly grounded in the Y-rated domain. And that’s only typical. The demographic for the show is, in fact, young children, and that’s who they’re relying on selling toys to in order to generate most of the revenue. But the fact remains the show creators are aware they have a large adult fan base, and I’d think they could bring in some cash on all of the merchandise that is more geared to adults (the fridge magnets, the t-shirts, etc.). So…if they were to do another fight, I’d kind of like it if they were to “take the gloves off” and leave it to almost-anything goes.
Out of all the entries on the list, this is the one I could do without for the most part. Because while it would be nice to see the show get as rough as an action cartoon, I don’t want it to ruin the spirit of the show. And we don’t want parents crying bloody murder either as they did for “The Last Roundup”. Maybe for a Series Finale.
9. Chrysalis returns.
This one goes without saying. I’m pretty sure a lot of fans want to see Chrysalis decisively defeated after she single-handedly bailed out the cash grab that was the Season Two finale. I got really excited during the preview for “Inspiration Manifestation” last season when I saw Rarity with green eyes, thinking: “Chrysalis is back!” I don’t want to be let down like that again. 😛 While keeping Discord was a good move, I think Chrysalis is just too charismatic and malevolent (like a pony Maleficent…er, the “evil” one) to just let her part of the plot end with her being blasted off into the horizon.
Even the IDW comic didn’t “finish her”, but left things open for a return. I’m hoping at some point they coordinated with the show’s creators, and that this is a reflection of their own plans…
8. Applejack’s background.
After four seasons, as far as the Mane Six’s parents go, we’ve only ever seen Twilight Sparkle’s, Pinkie Pie’s, Rarity’s, and, in a flashback, what seemed to be Rainbow Dash’s father. Only some of them have even had speaking lines. However, I think the elephant in the room the older audience would like to see addressed is the background with Applejack’s family, which they’ve been able to dance around for quite some time. As I indicated earlier in my review, my own “fan theory” regarding the situation shown in “The Cutie Mark Chronicles” is the real reason Applejack left home and stayed with her relatives in Manehattan was because she had no father and her mother died giving birth to Apple Bloom (note Applejack’s mother is absent from the flashback, but so is Apple Bloom).
True, this would be a rather “heavy” episode that would need a Y7 rating possibly more than a fight-orientated one, but heck…even “Rugrats” did an episode touching on the death of Chuckie’s mother. And the fact is this show is orientated to a lot of real-world concerns, and one of the biggest kids will encounter is death of a family member. Like it or not, death is a part of life that doesn’t care what age you are. We’ll all have to learn how to deal with it sooner or later, and running away from it won’t change anything.
7. Derpy speaks…again.
Yeah…file this under “never”… I’m not one of those types who had to rant and rave about how “bad” it was when Derpy returned in “Rainbow Falls” simply because she was once again mute and unnamed. But I still wouldn’t mind if she got to speak again.
While I don’t think the show creators are insane enough to risk a second backlash storm after “The Last Roundup” controversy, I won’t give up hope all together. My eyes are on the upcoming episode 100, which the creators have said is going to be a “background pony tribute”. If there was any place for her to say anything, that’s the spot.
6. A “Princess Celestia” episode.
Strangely enough, Celestia was all but absent from the fourth season. I think Luna may have actually gotten more screen time than her. And while Luna is definitely the more intriguing character with a background and powers that create far more opportunity for plot, and the show creators have announced she’ll have another episode with her as the focus in Season Five…I think the time has come for us to highlight Celestia a bit. The fact of the matter is little has been done to mitigate the “Trollestia” callers after four seasons. Celestia has had pretty much no time to “shine” in that entire time frame. Granted, she’s not the focus of the show. The Mane Six is. But after four seasons of delegating responsibility to Twilight Sparkle/being rescued by Twilight Sparkle…I don’t think it’s too much to ask to have an episode where she actually shows why she’s so loved and admired in the first place.
While, to me, ideally it would be if she actually handled a threat on her own just for once, that’s not necessary. Look at Celestia’s Micro-Series in the IDW comic for a way at how Celestia can be the hero without actually “being the hero”. If they don’t want to steal the thunder of the Mane Six, then do a flashback. Heck, even an episode showing her and Luna as fillies would be nice. There’s a wealth of opportunity that has gone largely untapped for four seasons now. At this point, everyone “knows” the Mane Six. I don’t think it would hurt to do what “The Simpsons” started to do before they went over the edge, which is start having episodes highlighting side characters.
5. More Cutie Mark Crusader “exclusive” episodes.
Ok, this one might not be as “grandiose” as the others, but it’s got potential. The fact is the CMCs are mostly defined simply by their search for Cutie Marks rather than who they are. Sweetie Belle has one of the least-defined characters in the series. The most we ever saw of it was in “For Whom the Sweetie Belle Toils” and “Sisterhooves Social”, and the two characters we saw in those were almost at odds with one another. Apple Bloom suffers from much the same problem. The only CMC member who really has been “defined” is Scootaloo, mostly because while she’s only had a few episodes to highlight we’ve really gotten into her head in those.
I think the younger girls all can be good characters in their own right if they’re not used purely just as the “trio” that is the Cutie Mark Crusaders where they’re fairly interchangeable. So I’d like more episodes focusing on them individually. They could get that if they go with my next suggestion…
4. Give the CMCs their damn Cutie Marks already.
After four seasons, the fruitless search for the Cutie Marks is getting stale. The fact is the Cutie Mark search was degenerating the character of the CMCs as early as Season Two. They were mostly defined by their attempts to get Cutie Marks rather than their personalities, and that made them weaker characters and their episodes less enjoyable. The episodes that worked out well, in my opinion, were ones that ignored the Cutie Mark aspect and just highlighted individual members and had them doing “things kids would do”, as it allowed them to develop personality and traits beyond their Cutie Marks. The dreaded “maybe we can get our Cutie Marks in __________” was practically unheard in Season Four, and I think with good reason. At this point, whatever the girls end up getting them for is likely going to be something they’ve already tried, and the Internet trolls are ready and waiting.
On the flip side, the fact that they’re able to do episodes with them that have them lacking Cutie Marks better than the ones with them looking for them or based around them shows that the impact of them getting them is going to be highly reduced.
I have some hope that Season Five’s premiere, “Cutie Markless”, is going to finally take care of this problem. Of course, it may be totally unrelated to the CMCs, but the Mane Six have already had two episodes dealing with faulty Cutie Marks: first in “Magical Mystery Cure” and later in “Twilight’s Kingdom” (with the Cutie Marks being removed when Tirek absorbs power). It would be unusual for the CMCs to highlight a season premiere…but we’ll see.
3. Rainbow Dash becomes a Wonderbolt.
I kind of see why they can’t make Rainbow Dash a Wonderbolt, as it would entail likely packing up and leaving Ponyville to live in Canterlot full time except on business. That’s something they’d likely save for a Series Finale. But still, it’s getting ridiculous. I dare say more ridiculous than the Cutie Marks. Rainbow Dash was proving herself to be as good or better than the Wonderbolts as early as Season One, and she’s been proving herself to embody greater character than their members since Season Three. The fact that she’s not even in the “Wonderbolts Reserve” yet is insulting intelligence.
It almost seems like this “carrot on a stick” is just there to give obligatory material for Rainbow Dash themed episodes. And granted, she shows off her virtues better in those episodes than ones where she’s an egotistical jerk…but still, it’s time has come. Although I have ten items on this list, either this one or the previous one needs to happen.
2. Nightmare Rarity.
Like I said…a man can dream. A man can dream.
1. Go out with a bang, not a whimper.
While this is more on the pessimistic side, and ideally I don’t want this one to happen…I hope that when it comes time where the idea well starts to run dry and the show creators can sense that someone is giving them a motorcycle and starting to push a shark tank up to them that they know when to pull the plug and make a graceful, and hopefully show-stopping, exit. While I like to think the show has a lot of life left in it, it should know when “it’s time” and go out at the top of its game, not the bottom. I think the latter part of Season Four proved it still has a lot of life left in it, but I hope they keep it in mind.
Any suggestions you all have out there?