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Synopsis:

It’s the Grand Equestria Pony Summit in Canterlot, and Princess Twilight Sparkle has the task of organizing everything. However, the monumental task takes her three days without sleep and Twilight is collapsing on herself, and Cadance wants her to get some sleep for the Welcome Reception and tasks Spike with making sure it happens. Unfortunately, not long into the watch, Spike starts running across numerous distractions in the form of loud city workers, Canterlot games, and especially arguing delegates. While trying to tackle them all, Spike accidentally gets two delegates to leave by telling a lie and saying he’s passing on an order from a still-napping Twilight. Soon, realizing he can get ponies to do anything by telling them “Princess Twilight said so”, Spike not only clears out all distractions but takes it on himself to handle all of Twilight’s meetings as well. Once that’s done, he starts using it to greedily get himself perks, which earns Cadance’s ire. Things finally blow up when a series of decisions Spike made causes a water main to burst and soak the main hall of the summit and ruin a statue made of gems from each delegate to symbolize Equestrian unity; outraging the delegates and causing them to form an angry mob demanding satisfaction from Twilight. On waking up, she’s stunned to find out everyone is enraged at her, and Spike nervously admits all of the decisions came from him. He apologizes to the audience and makes a speech about the importance of all of them being there in a unified spirit, causing them to help him rebuild the unity statue. In the end, the delegates forgive him and present him with a bouquet of flowers…which are unfortunately made of a bouquet of Dragonsneeze Tree flowers. The show cuts to the credits moments before another sneeze ruins the statue again.

Review:

As I’ve said before and I’ll say again… Well, something had to follow last week’s episode.

Most fans think this is the weakest episode of all of Season Five. So bad, in fact, it looks as if the ratings never fully recovered. I’ll admit it’s not that great. It’s yet another case of the infamous “Muddled Moral”. Spike was supposed to be at fault for making all of the decisions on Twilight’s behalf, but the truth is, as he points out, his originally intention was just to do anything to carry out his original goal of letting Twilight sleep. The three decisions that ended up causing the catastrophe, the tree trimming, the water main repair, and the moving of the polo game, were all made from best intentions rather than selfishness. The alternative was to go ahead and let Twilight be kept awake so that she still would have been a tired wreck by the time the Welcome Reception got there. Likewise, Twilight would have been kept awake the rest of the afternoon dealing with every last complaint by every delegate. So…Spike was really caught between a rock and a hard place for most of this episode, which makes things pretty bad. If the episode was supposed to have a moral to it, it’s not terribly clear what Spike was supposed to do other than what he did.

This seemed to have been picked up by the writers, so, toward the second half of the episode, Spike goes pure repulsive. He starts showing off a selfish, greedy side he hasn’t displayed since “The Secret of My Excess”. That ultimately ends up being pointless. On one hand, it causes this episode to suffer the same problem most Spike episodes suffer from. It basically highlights one of his negative traits, and that’s about it. On the other hand, the one thing Spike should have suffered for, namely his selfish name-dropping to get himself perks and benefits, didn’t play into the disaster at the end. So it ends up appearing to be purely Spike-hate.

The worst part is that this is pretty much the only chance Spike would get to be highlighted this season. While he would feature in “The Cutie Re-Mark”, his role would be purely as a sidekick and someone for Twilight to play off of instead of monologuing. Spike’s best role would ironically be the humanized (er, dogized) version in “Friendship Games” when he would be instrumental in defeating Midnight Sparkle.

While I don’t personally think this episode is quite as bad as it could have been, I admit it’s lackluster and unpleasant for most of us, and for Spike fans it’s pretty bad.

Fun Facts:

Fluffy Clouds from “Tanks for the Memories” cameos.

Based on the statue, we can affirm that Equestria is made up of at least 120 separate cities/prefectures.

Somehow I don’t think Twilight happily cuddling up with books when she sleeps is entirely due to her being too tired for her to notice. 😛

The fact that there are chainsaws and jackhammers means that there is, in fact, motor-driven technology in Equestria. I suppose it could be “magic chainsaws and jackhammers” though…

Matilda is from Ponyville, so…is she representing Ponyville?

Cadance actually gets a decent role in this one that’s not in a season finale or premiere, which I thought was kind of interesting, although her individual character doesn’t really play much of a part and most members of the Mane Six could have been swapped out for her.

Cadance debuts a rather interesting power in this one; the ability to generate crystals out of thin air. It’s something of a “light version” of King Sombra’s own power, which was a nice little touch.

Gustav LeGrande makes a cameo in this one.

Apparently there is a Leonardo Da Vinci pony. His Cutie Mark is a pony version of the Mona Lisa. The painting Spike commissions from him is of how Spike envisioned himself way back in “A Dog and Pony Show”.

Rating:

2 Stars out of 5

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