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Once again, this review will contain spoilers. Those of you who haven't watched the episode yet, you have been warned.

So our episode begins with a mysterious hooded figure rummaging around some trinkets in an old house in the night. The shopkeeper arrives and ask what the figure wants, and the latter points to an object on the shelf known as the "alicorn amulet", one of the most powerful magical charms in Equestria. At first he refuses to sell, but one bag of gold soon changes his mind, leading to the opening credits.

Afterwards, we find Twilight and Spike are at Fluttershy's, practicing her magic by levitating the animals. After that, it's revealed that this was in preparation for an upcoming visit by Celestia and a few diplomats, when Rainbow Dash comes crashing in, telling Twilight that she's needed in town. They arrive to find that the hooded figure is using magic on Rarity, much to the latter's dismay. Twilight demands to know what's going on and the hooded figure reveals herself to be Trixie the unicorn, last seen in season one's episode "Boast Busters". When asked why she's here, Trixie informs Twilight that the two of them have unfinished business and that her magic has become more powerful since they last met, as she shows with a display on some of the crowd. She then challenges Twilight to a magi duel, winner stays in Ponyville, and the loser banished forever.

When asked why she's doing this, Trixie explains that after her previous appearance, she was made a laughing stock, never able to gain an audience after her failure in Ponyville. Because of this, she wants revenge against Twilight, and threatens to use her magic against Ponyville and it's citizens until she accepts. Seeing the problems she's caused already, Twilight accepts.

With the terms accepted, the duel begins. Trixie casts a number of spells that would have caused great harm to Twilight and those around her, but Twilight is able to counter almost all of them. Twilight becomes shocked when Trixie starts performing spells that are only used for the best of magic users, but continues to try and counter her. Unfortunately, Twilight is unable to undo the final spell. Trixie declares herself the winner and orders Twilight to leave. Twilight's friends try to defend her, but Trixie uses her magic to force Twilight out of Ponyville. With that done, Trixie conjures a barrier, not only to keep Twilight out, but to keep the ponies of Poyville in.

Twilight promises to figure a way out of this problem and leaves. However, despite her efforts to improve her magic, Twilight realises that her best option is to find someone who knows more about other kinds of magic. To this end, she visits Zecora the Zebra. There, Zecora vows to train Twilight in magic for a rematch with Trixie. Back in Ponyville, Trixie has turned the place into her own private dictatorship, using her magic on anyone who refuses to do as she says. Twilight's training proves difficult as her defeat by Trixie has her troubled and unable to focus.

Meanwhile, Twilight friends are trying to do research on how to fight Trixie, and eventually, Fluttershy finds a book which tells them of the amulet she's using. They then learn that in addition to bestowing great power. the amulet also corrupts it's wearer, explaining Trixie's unusually aggressive behaviour, and that only she can remove it. They come up with a plan for Fluttershy to move past the barrier and find Twilight to let her know about this. They trick Trixie into opening the barrier to let some animals out and Fluttershy sneaks out while she does so.

Once at Zecora's, Fluttershy explains the whole thing to Twilight. A word of advice from Zecora gives Twilight an idea on how to fight back against the power of Trixie's amulet. Twilight returns to the border of Ponyville and informs Trixie that she knows all about the amulet. In addition, she shows off her own amulet which she claims to have been given from Zecora which will improve her own powers. Twilight challenges Trixie to another duel and she accepts. As the duel begins, Trixie is shocked to see Twilight perform the same advanced magic which won her the first duel. After some more displays of Twilight's magic, Trixie uses her own power to steal Twilight's amulet, claiming that she will now rule Equestria with it.

She removes the alicorn amulet in order to wear the new one, but Rainbow Dash takes the alicorn amulet once she does so. When Trixie tries to use her powers on Rainbow, she finds that she's not as powerful as before. It's then revealed that Twilight tricked Trixie, and that the amulet she boasted about was a fake the whole time, and that all the advanced magic she performed before were merely illusions with the help from her friends.

Later that day, Twilight performs her magic to the arriving diplomats and Celestia. To Twilight's surprise, Trixie helps out with the celebrations, asking for forgiveness, which Twilight gives, ending the episode.

So then, how did the episode fare?

Well, in terms of the overall plot, I must say that this is a new one for me. Having the show's central character driven out of her home by a returning villain is not something I ever expected this show to do, so kudos on coming up with an original story. On top of that, I felt that this story allowed for many great dramatic moment for Twilight. Having to be exiled from her home and from her friends is a devastating thing, not only for her to go through, but for us the audience to sit there and watch. That's not a bad thing however as that kind of drama makes the ultimate victory at the end all the more satisfying, and thankfully the episode never made things too depressing.

In many ways, this episode reminds me of virtually every single fan-fiction and fan-theory regarding the character of Trixie. That's not an insult to the fans or anything, but it is odd how uncanny the resemblance between this and some of the stuff the fans have come up with is. They've often portrayed Trixie as being down on her luck after the "Boast Busters" incident, and holding Twilight in contempt for that. If I didn't know better, I'd say one of the show's writers must have got a hold of one of those fan-fics and made an official episode out of it, which I'm sure will make the fans happy to no end.

Although the story manages to stay fairly original in terms of it's basic premise, in many ways it reminds me of the season two premiere, "Return of Harmony". In that episode, a villain causes utter chaos in Ponyville and brings Twilight to a low point, nearly driving her from her friends and home. We have a very similar situation here, but that's no criticism against the episode as it handles that story very well, providing just the right mix of character-driven story and a legitimate challenge for our heroine to overcome.

However, there was one big issue with the story that I must address, and that's Trixie's actions were not challenged by any authority figure. Whenever some threat has come to Ponyville like this in the past, we've had some response by celestia or other leaders. Here, Trixie goes completely unchallenged by those in power. I never understood that. Are there really no police officers or anything to stop disruptive members of Equestrian society? Is this land so harmonious that they feel there's no need for such enforcement? That can't possibly be the case or else they wouldn't have any military.

In addition to that, one of the big mis-steps of the episode for me was the very end where Trixie apologises to Twilight for what she did. I have nothing against that scene and indeed think it was very big of Twilight to accept the apology. But the whole scene felt very rushed, barely a minute. It felt as though the writers had run out of time to do a proper length apology scene so shortened it at the last minute, and it shows.

Aside from the return of Trixie, this episode mostly focuses on Twilight, and I must say her character does very well here. Tara Strong delivers a particularly good voice performance here, showing just how much Twilight is going through. In addition to that, we see just how much her character has changed and grown since the first time Trixie showed up. In "Boast Busters" Trixie's challenge to Twilight was met with meek decline from the latter, with Twilight afraid of appearing like a show-off in front of her friends, even though Trixie was inflicting humiliation on them.

Here, after all the real dangers and challenges she's overcome in the episodes in-between, she's grown far more confident. So when Trixie threatens her home and friends, she accepts the challenge, no longer afraid of how she'll look in the eyes of her friends. It's a subtle change in her character, one that I did not notice on the first viewing, but it shows that over the last few years of this show, Twilight has grown considerably in terms of her confidence and her willingness to stand up to others.

But of course the big thing fans will be talking about here is the return of Trixie. Much like many other minor characters in this show, like Princess Luna or Derpy, Trixie is one of those ponies that fans have been clamouring for a return. I won't go into the reasons why, but suffice to say that like the previously mentioned two characters, this return for Trixie feels very much like a way for Hasbro to keep it's fans happy. And while I can understand and even appreciate the fact that they listen to the fanbase, I have similar worries that she was brought back for their sake rather than any real desire among the writers for her return.

As for her character, before I go into too much detail I think it's worth pointing out here that because of this episode, Trixie is now the show's first official recurring antagonist. And I must say that out of all the villains we've had so far, this was not one I expected to make a comeback. Still, I suppose it's nice to see a character who makes a claim of "I will be back" to actually go ahead and do it as opposed to just saying it and then we never hear from them again. Plus, she the first real villain we've had who's a regular pony, which is a nice change of pace. And before anyone mentions it, I don't count the Flim Flam brothers or King Sombra. The former because they were just too silly for me to classify them as villains, and the latter because he never seemed like a regular pony to me.

Her motivations, both for returning and for challenging Twilight are a mixed bag for me. On the one hand she was indeed humiliated in her previous appearance by being shown up in front of town to not have the skills she claimed to have. But on the other hand, Twilight was not responsible for that. She merely cleaned up the mess made by other characters. Not one did she ever directly challenge Trixie or go out of her way to make her feel bad. In fact, the one time Trixie directly spoke to her before that, Twilight backed down immediately. So while I can understand Trixie's need to feel better about her previous visit to Ponyville, placing all of the blame on Twilight is just ludicrous.

Also I feel the need to make a confession regarding her behaviour and actions here. In my review of "Boast Busters", I defender her behaviour in that episode and her boasting by making the argument that her profession as a magician, and therefore being a public entertainer, meant that she was justified in her attempts to make her achievements sound more amazing than they really were. It was her job so I did not begrudge her for it. Here though I find it impossible to defend her actions or behaviour. Like I said I feel her anger towards Twilight is unjustified and her actions towards her and the others is done out of sheer spite, which I cannot in all good conscience argue for.

Now many people at this point will be pointing out that Trixie's actions were not her own, rather that it was caused by the amulet making her more aggressive and corrupt. While I'm sympathetic to that opinion to a point, I still feel that she deserves the blame here. The reason being is that while she may not have been in control of her actions while wearing the amulet, it was still her initial decision to wear it in the first place. So all of the negative things she did in the episode stemmed from a conscious decision she made in order to get back at Twilight, which is why I still find her actions unforgiveable.

I liked the inclusion of many of the other characters here, especially Zecora. All of Twilight's friends contributed to the quality of the episode for me, which is unusual for most episodic MLP stories which tend to have the regular cast merely playing bit parts. But like I said I liked Zecora's return here, and I think it's rather interesting to have a minor protagonist of season one ultimately help in bring down a minor antagonist introduced in the same season. I don't know if that was the intention, but it intrigued me.

No song this week, so I won't be talking about one.

Onto the humour now and this week we have something of a mixed bag for me. On the one hand I know that there's plenty in here that was probably supposed to be funny, but considering that it was all caused in order to make our heroines miserable, I found it hard to even crack a smile at it. Rarity's over-the-top reactions were always amusing to watch but overall the humour seems to take a backseat to the drama of the episode. Also, I felt that the "Saddle Arabia" joke didn't work for me, although that's no surprise considering how I usually feel about the show's horse puns. At the very least though it wasn't quite as bad as the last horse pun we had in a Trixie episode.

As for the moral, I honestly have no idea what to think. There doesn't seem to even be a real lesson here. Twilight's victory came about by her lesson to "not use magic" and instead rely on the "magic of friendship". Now I'm not saying that friendship is a bad thing to encourage, but the entire show has been about that lesson right from the start, so devoting an episode to it makes little sense to me.

Overall I'd say that this was a good episode. Aside from the original (to me at least) story, we got plenty of drama, humour and a chance for some real growth on the part of our main heroine. In addition to those points, this episode, having now shown that recurring antagonists are a possibility, has effectively opened the doors for other older antagonists to return. Though I very much hope that such a possibility is handled delicately by the writers. There were many positive elements to the story and although I had a few nitpicks here and there this was ultimately my favourite of the season three episodes so far. Definitely worth a watch.

Join me next week when Scootaloo has some bad dreams in "Sleepless in Ponyville".
Another MLP review.

Enjoy.

All property belongs to Hasbro.
Add a Comment:
 
:iconrkerekes13:
rkerekes13 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
I wouldn't go as far as to say that Twilight tricked Trixie, but rather provided a sense of irony of how sometimes simpler things can help overcome bigger things. Plus, when Twilight claimed her "amulet" to be more powerful than Trixie's, I'm almost certain that she meant it to be a symbol of what she did through the power of teamwork. Plus, considering how much evil Trixie was made out to be, I'm quite sure that Twilight and her friends had no choice but to pull what they did in order to best Trixie, especially considering how Trixie wasn't even a friend, but an enemy in this case. In light of all that, I'd say the actions of Twilight and her friends were justified because I believe there might actually be a bit of symbolism in this episode which I definitely couldn't sense in most others. Of course, there are others I could bring up which I'm starting to sense some symbolism in right now, but that's another story. Hope I've been helpful! ;)
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
Indeed. That was a very interesting opinion.
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:iconrkerekes13:
rkerekes13 Featured By Owner Aug 16, 2013
Thank you. :)
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:iconnoboda:
noboda Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013
I thought it was funny that Fluttershy convinced some beavers to smuggle her out of Ponyville.
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Apr 19, 2013
Indeed it was.
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:iconhuntergregory:
huntergregory Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
I came up with a plot similar to this episode, only it's darker and has a more dramatic climax. During the duel, Twilight gets angry at Trixie because she reminded her of something that infuriated her. That inner fury gives us a slight glimpse of Twilight's power before she quits, being afraid of her own power and not wanting it to spring out of control and hurt her friends. Near the end, the gang is attacked by an evil brute that not even Trixie can defeat, and once she sees what the brute has done to her friends, particularly Spike, Twilight sets her rage and power free.
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Feb 5, 2013
It's like said, this episode was pretty much a fan's dream come true.
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:iconhuntergregory:
huntergregory Featured By Owner Feb 6, 2013  Hobbyist Writer
Well, I came up with that idea long before this episode was announced.
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:iconskalopultondraw20:
SkalopultonDraw20 Featured By Owner Jan 8, 2013
I hope King Sombra returns.
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Jan 9, 2013
He don't know what the season 3 finale will be like, so you may just get your wish.
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:iconnickyv917:
nickyv917 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
I think that, while Trixie may have willingly put the Alicorn Amulet on, I still think her actions are defensible, because she didn't know that the Amulet would turn her into Fidel Castro with magic powers and a fancy cape. I think she just thought, "Ooo, this will make my magic stronger? Gimme, gimme, gimme", not knowing that it had some side-effects.
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Perhaps, but we can only ever go on what the show gives us.
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:iconnickyv917:
nickyv917 Featured By Owner Dec 4, 2012
Yeah, just a theory.
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:iconjfpierre:
JFPierre Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Student General Artist
To me Magical Duel was a dark episode in both tone and pacing. For those that followed the leaks for the episode it was a treat, and those that found Trixie to just be a one note character got to see that she is a good character. One note that I want to add for the humor, This is the only episode where pinkie gets less then three lines.

on ward to the Scootaloo episode. the one CMC that we need more information.
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012
Indeed. I'm actually surprised she hasn't been given a spotlight until now.
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:iconjfpierre:
JFPierre Featured By Owner Dec 3, 2012  Student General Artist
ya she has so much mystery
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:iconsefzaps:
Sefzaps Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Nice review.
You have a lot of mixed bags, though. Maybe some organization is in order?
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Apologies. Sometimes I forget what I've written.
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:iconsefzaps:
Sefzaps Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Hobbyist Artist
Lol. No harm done. I just thought it was funny.
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:iconrk-striker-jk-5:
RK-Striker-JK-5 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Awesome review. :D Although I never classified Trixie as a 'villain', and now with her making up with Twilight I don't even think she's an 'antagonist' anymore.

As for her motivations, we don't know what they were when she bought the thing. For all we know it was 'Put on a more impressive show'.
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
True. But we can only go on what the episode gives us. And since Trixie said that she tried to get back at Twilight, that's the motivation I'm working with.
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:iconsaturdaymorningproj:
saturdaymorningproj Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
another great review :)

This episode was really interesting, it was much more focused on drama, funny moments were again rather at rare, just as the previous episode but still it managed to be highly enjoyable one to watch, I was expecting that kind of episode. It was good to see Zecora in bigger role this time, and the way Twilight beat Trixie was kind of clever, I didn't expected that kind of solution, nice ;) As for Trixie, yeah the ending was rushed, if she's ever to comeback let's hope for some character development, but it was good to see kind of closure to their rivarly.
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Exactly. Having Trixie declare her intentions to return in her first episode would have been a forever-dangling plot-thread if they hadn't done this episode.

So by doing this they've brought a character to the end of their respective arc and given us a great episode in doing so.
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:iconsaturdaymorningproj:
saturdaymorningproj Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Yeah,that's true, it's good to see they were able to pull off this one giving many fans episode they wanted to see. Oh btw, I really like that in fact, Twilight deafeted Trixie with her own weapon - smokes, mirrors and a bit of...dunno, "showmareship" :P
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Becoming what Trixie used to be in order to deteat her. I don't know if that was intended by the writers, but if it was then I tip my hat to them.
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:iconsaturdaymorningproj:
saturdaymorningproj Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Hard to tell if it was intentional or not, but it was well executed, that's what matters :)

Seems like anything Trixie can do Twilight can do better :P
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Something which probably isn't going to help the former's self-esteem issues one bit.
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:iconsaturdaymorningproj:
saturdaymorningproj Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Ha ha ha, probably not Oh well, you can't have everything xD
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:iconoctavia-sandwich:
Octavia-Sandwich Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
I really liked this episode too. It always feels great to see great progression in the characters like Twilight had in this episode. So many references to the fandom in this! Also, did you notice that the word "alicorn" actually just became canon in this episode? My friend thought that they had used it before, but I am pretty sure that they haven't. I also enjoyed Zecora showing up again, because I was a little worried about her.
I can't wait for next week! A Scootaloo episode! Took them long enough!!! :iconscootaloopony: :iconscootaloopony: :iconscootaloopony: :iconscootaloopony: :iconscootaloopony: :iconscootaloopony:
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
I know. But that nod to the fans wasn't the only thing that interested me here. There were many references to past episodes, not only in the obvious inclusion of Trixie and Zecora, but in little snips of information we get, like Trixie's time on the rock famr owned by Pinkie's family, or Spike mentioning how he and Applejack were once trapped in a snowball by Twilight's magic.
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:iconoctavia-sandwich:
Octavia-Sandwich Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Hobbyist Digital Artist
Yah, I enjoyed that too. I hope that we see more stuff like this soon!
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:iconhewytoonmore:
HewyToonmore Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
:) One thing though If Trixie magiced away Pinkie's mouth and nose...how could she still breath?
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
It's Pinkie Pie. I stopped questioning how she does stuff a LONG time ago.
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:iconmisslogan:
MissLogan Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
I really enjoyed this episode. I feel you are right about Trixie's behaviour. Trixie her self ended up admitting her limits. Twilight had to saved her friends and home from the Ursa, she didn't do it to humiliate Trixie, but one thing I've longed since learn is that when people are angry their logic leaves them to make more room for their anger. I also highly agree that her behaviour can not be excused while she was wearing the amulet. No matter how much the amulet affected her she still obviously got it the first place so she could take her revenge on Twilight and Ponyville. For the athourity thing I do agree, but she might have handle it before hand I mean she did have the Mayor in a cage. I did like that Trixie in the end apologized yet remained the same. I enjoyed the scenes with Zecora, you really have to admire her knowledge. I liked the "soothing pink" comment. I felt annoyed about Fluttershy being ignored quiet or not, but just loved the whole sneaking out mission. The gender swap spell was hilarious and I didn't think they could make a face that was funnier and creepier for Pinkie than the 80's MLP face. That very last scene was funny.
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
I agree, anger can easily make a person lose their ability to think straight, and a perceived humiliation would have made it easy for Trixie to mis-place her anger onto anypony, like Twilight.
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:icontan575:
tan575 Featured By Owner Dec 7, 2012
Not just anger. But hate as well. Like the line in the galley scene in the movie Ben Hur.
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 8, 2012
I really need to get round to watching that movie.
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:iconmisslogan:
MissLogan Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
I forgot about the rock farm in her flashback. It was pretty funny that she had gone to work for Pinkies family. I had always wonder if they would ever mentions Pinkies family again.
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:iconfortuneteller102:
Fortuneteller102 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
I didn't really know there was a fan fic that had the same scenario. But I do know that the 'Blame Twilight For What Happened" was very fandomy. And yeah, the fact that they listen to the fandom is very canon now, since one of Twilight's illusions was turning Applejack into Applejack. They really outdid themselves this time. Can't wait to see more. :)
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
With an episode like this, Hasbro may have opened the floodgates as far as canon/fanon goes. We may even see other nods to the fans in future episodes.
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:iconwottagal0505:
WottaGal0505 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Professional General Artist
Can't wait for Sleepless in Ponyville, maybe we'll finally see Scootaloo's home life for once. Does she have parents, is she an orphan or is she raised by chickens or not?!
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
If ever there was an MLP character in desperate need of development, Scootaloo is it.
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:iconwottagal0505:
WottaGal0505 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012  Professional General Artist
Glad I'm not the only one who feels that way. Applebloom and Sweetie Belle are great characters, but Scootaloo kind of bugged me, mostly because she was nowhere near as developed as those two and was always the same. I was happy when I read in your One Bad Seed review that you're not a fan of the CMC episodes because I'm not either and thought I was the only one who thought that.
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:icongorshmidtii:
GorshmidtII Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012  Hobbyist Traditional Artist
There was a moral in here, and it was extremely subtle: Love your enemy. We see that Twilight Sparkle shows a great deal of concern for Trixie throughout the episode. She doesn't desire revenge, she simply wants to fix everything that's wrong with her situation. At the end, after Trixie is freed from the amulet's corrupting influence, Trixie asks for Twilight's forgiveness after helping her with the show. Twilight does indeed forgive her and Trixie ends up redeemed. If Twilight had not shown such concern for her enemy and only gone after her with revenge as the driving force, Trixie would not have been redeemed and a vicious circle of vengeance would result from it. Because of Twilight's love for her enemy, her enemy tried to repair the damage that she had done and ended up redeemed; a friend.

As for the episode itself, there was a glorious amount of fan-service in it. I can't say anything about the quality of the episode, I suppose, than what's already been posted so I'll just comment on the animation. It was incredibly smooth and natural, as seems to be the case with Season 3's previous episodes. It's good to see that the visual quality has improved.
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Agreed. There were lot's of visually impressive things in here. And yes, this is easily the most fandom-heavy episode we've had so far.
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:iconcadetotheendftw:
CadetotheEndFTW Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
Did you all notice the Yoda and Luke, The Simpsons Movie EPA, Marvin the Martian (and maybe a hint of Bomberman) references?
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Noticed the Yoda one, but I hadn't really thought of the other references until you just mentioned them.
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:iconcadetotheendftw:
CadetotheEndFTW Featured By Owner Dec 2, 2012
Oh well thought you knew ^^;
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:icongrogar-the-oneser:
Grogar-the-oneser Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
First word after finishing it: YAY! There is so much win I'm having difficulties putting all of it together. As you can tell, I really enjoyed the episode.
First of all, I have to say thank you to the writers for keeping it perfectly in the spirit of FiM. This spirit shone quite brightly throughout the episode,. If shorter seasons mean retaining this level of quality, I'm all for it.

The reveal of there having been no super-feats of magic on Twilight's part was what sealed the episode for me as 'made of awesome'. Friendship quite literally became magic, or rather stage magic--something that Trixie's original trade was about. Twilight and her friends actually beat her at her own game, which was the original condition Trixie set out in Boast Busters. This is pure win.
I'm simply loving the fact that they resolved the episode not through Twilight being better at magic than Trixie, but through her friends helping her out. The old 'it's magic, it's just better' thing doesn't work in FiM. I bloody love the writers for that.

They also managed to up Trixie's nastiness and really show the amulet's corrupting influence while still keeping it within normal bounds. Even though there was a Snips and Snails-driven giant object and Twilight's friends forced to serve Trixie, it was handled in a tame way that gives just enough to your mind to see the picture. I wholeheartedly approve of that.

It's subtle, but upon discovering that the Alicorn Amulet corrupts the wielder, the rest of the mane six go from overjoyed at discovering the source of Trixie's new-found power to looking genuinely concerned. Even after all Trixie did, they still become concerned at the realization the Amulet is corrupting her. you have to admit that somewhat heartwarming

Zecora assuming her part-time-mentor role that Lauren Faust originally intended for her was another winning point for me. Her pretty much becoming Yoda improved the situation even further. I didn't expect her to be able to actively perform magic, but I guess zebras do it diffirently than unicorns, and Zecora's potions are quite magical indeed, so it's perfectly plausible and all there if you actually look for it. DHX, you win once again.

Trixie being let off the hook in the end was the only slight downside for me, but I suppose that showing any sort of punishment actively exacted by the protagonists or Celestia would not be keeping with the FiM spirit. I can understand that. While I didn't get to see Trixie really answer for her crimes, this is also made up for by her showing signs of turning to good--and that's where the magic is, signs, not a 'oh hello, I'm a goody-four-horseshoes now!'. While she sincerely apologizes, a great feat for her normal personality, she still retains her egotism and braggishness. This is precisely the way I wanted it all to go. Thank you, crew. Thank you so very much.

btw the guy who did this also did Luna eclipsed.
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:iconthejboy88:
Thejboy88 Featured By Owner Dec 1, 2012
He did LE too? Good to know he's being kept in the writing staff then.
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