While neurotically planning her schedule for the next several months, Twilight Sparkle gets an unexpected visit from a rather beaten and injured-looking “Future” Twilight Sparkle. She mentions she’s not from the distant future but next Tuesday and has an “important message” for Twilight, but due to “present” Twilight’s incessant questions and comments, is unable to get it out before she’s sent back to the future. Twilight, assuming this means a terrible disaster will happen next Tuesday, rallies the citizens to “disaster-proof” Equestria. But even though the events involve returning Cerberus to guarding Tartarus (seemingly) before any of the evil inside can escape, Twilight is still cut in such a way to match the cut her future self had afterward, leading her to think they haven’t averted the disaster. She tries doing nothing, seeing the future using Pinkie Pie’s Pinkie Sense, and finally “watching everything”, but all of her efforts only make her look progressively more like Future Twilight. Finally, on Monday evening, Twilight decides to stop the disaster by “stopping time” and tries to “break into Canterlot’s spells” to do so…so distraught she doesn’t realize she’s free to go wherever she wants in Canterlot unimpeded. Tuesday ends up coming without her as she furiously tries to find a time spell…only for nothing to happen. She realizes she got herself worked up over nothing. When Pinkie Pie finds a spell that will send her back in time once, and only once, for a few moments, she decides to use it to warn her past self not to worry over the next week…and, as a result, “completes the loop” by failing to get out the warning in time. She moans as she realizes that she sentenced “Past Twilight” to working herself up over nothing for the next week…but Pinkie reminds her that she, at least, is already “done” with it. Twilight vows to herself to stop being so neurotic and worrysome…and then takes Spike home, who foolishly ate all the ice cream he wanted saying it’s “Future Spike’s problem”…and not being smart enough to realize he would eventually become “Future Spike”.
Who wants some good old fashioned Season One zanyness? I do! I do!
This episode is more than just about time travel. The fantasy elements and off-the-wallness of a lot of the bits is a good throwback to more of the “cartooney” episodes of Season One. Ironically, it’s also a “look forward”, as this episode serves as the prologue to the Season Four finale. The writer of this episode, M.A. Larson (my personal favorite), also did “The Return of Harmony”, and, as evidenced in that episode, he’s a sci-fi buff. And that’s obvious in the “Terminator” feel to Twilight going through time as well as the resemblance she has to a certain video game character in this episode.
This episode is just good generic “fun” to me. There’s nothing bad about it. The pacing is nice. It doesn’t quite feature the Mane Six prominently but they all get a bit of screen time. Spike is a bit of a jerk at points, but he ends up paying for at the end. 🙂 Sure, it makes use of an “old hat” plot involving time travel, the self-fulfilling prophecy, but it does it in a much less “bleak” way than other plotlines might. Twilight, at the bare minimum, seems to realize in spite of the fact that she ended up causing the misfortune to befall her by trying to warn her about it, she’s now “wiser” for the experience. And indeed…Twilight’s neurosis seemed to mellow out a bit after this episode. Not completely…but enough to where she didn’t have a repeat of this episode or “Lesson Zero” again.
All in all, one of the more “fun” episodes of Season Two.
Spike mentions “Arbor Day” at the beginning of the episode. Apparently, Equestria does have ONE holiday that exists in the real world. 😛
Naturally, this whole episode is one of the classic time-travel themes: the self-fulfilling prophecy. Twilight’s attempt to keep herself from being neurotic ironically caused her to worry even more than usual and ended up in disaster for her.
“Future” Twilight resembles Solid Snake from the “Metal Gear Solid” franchise…as does her attempts to sneak into Canterlot. Her appearance in the past also resembles the “Terminator” franchise.
Las Pegasus, seemingly a parody of Los Angeles, is mentioned in this episode. The fact that Rainbow Dash says everything clear from “Fillydelphia to Las Pegasus” indicates that, similar to the USA, there are East and West Coast regions in Equestria.
Cereberus appears in this episode and is mentioned to be the guardian of Tartarus and dark creatures imprisoned there. This is pretty much identical to Greek Mythology.
Ironically…there is an event that happens in this episode that, if prevented, would have spared Equestria from nearly being destroyed. It’s revealed in Season Four that while Cerberus was loose, Tirek used the opportunity to escape and spent the next two seasons slowly regaining his power until he was ready to make a move in the Season Four finale. Future Twilight didn’t know her own strength. 😛
Baltimare, an obvious knockoff of Baltimore, is also mentioned.
Pinkie Sense is mentioned again in this episode. And as a throwback to Season One…a random object falls on Twilight’s head. It’s never explained how. 😛
Another Starswirl the Bearded reference. He’s already becoming a more important historical figure.
In another throwback to Season One, random Celestia. She just walks through, wishes Twilight “Happy Tuesday”, and then leaves. That’s her only appearance this episode. Twilight doesn’t even write to her.
3.5 Stars out of 5