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Spike at Your Service

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Dec. 29th, 2012 | 11:17 pm

Thoughts on the new MLP:FiM episode, "Spike at Your Service" — reposted from broniesaremagic as usual.

Overall assessment: it was OK, all in all. The plot seemed a bit contrived, really; not necessarily the fact that Spike has a dragon code that he holds in such high regard, not even his klutziness he displayed at Applejack's (that's probably just dramatic necessity), but why was Applejack, the Element of Honesty of all things, unable to tell him the truth? And why did Applejack, the Element of Honesty, resort to staging a fake timber wolf attack instead of just coming right out and saying what needed to be said? Doubly so since she was able to say what needed to be said in the end: even though they could just have been considered to be "even steven" after Spike saved her, they did talk and resolve things properly. So why not that right away? Not hurting his feelings I can understand, but given the havoc he wreaked and the prospect of having to deal with him for the rest of her days, or at least a considerable amount of time, I'd have thought she'd be a little more willing (and able) to sit him down and tell him the truth, even if it'd have been uncomfortable for him in the beginning.

I did like the timber wolves, especially the fact that they really are literally made from timber. It's creative, and it also takes away some of the edge that they would otherwise have: no matter how scary they might seem, after all, in the end, they're just leaves and branches and logs and twigs, at least to the viewers of the series (if not necessarily to the ponies). I'm slightly concerned that they're reinforcing the meme that wolves are dangerous and/or will attack people, but they are cute, and don't seem to be portrayed as genuinely bad: they're just part of the Everfree Forest's fauna, magical creatures that may be dangerous at times but that you don't truly have to be afraid of. (Note e.g. how Applejack had absolutely no second thoughts about venturing into the Everfree to investigate the balloon, and how even Apple Bloom goes in there in other episodes to go to Zecora's.)

(EDIT: The timber wolves' animation was also interesting, BTW. I've since been told that they're actually animated in 3D, as opposed to the rest of the series, which is animated in 2D; I do agree that the crew did a remarkable job at integrating the two.)

Speaking of Applejack, the scene where Spike was massaging her back was entirely too cute. :) And speaking of Spike in turn, he sure was quite huggy, wasn't he? Not just towards Applejack, but also towards Twilight in the end.

I noticed that Rainbow Dash called Applejack "AJ". I can't recall, did anypony do that before in the series? Also, Dashie sure can roar, can't she?

I also paid a bit more attention to the background music this time — just a little bit. The "chivalric" theme that was playing for Spike with his ambition to be seen as a noble dragon was neat; unfortunately, you can't really pay conscious attention to the background music most of hte time if you're also paying attention to the action and the dialogue.

I also like how they ended the episode with a brohoof. :) Another deliberate nod to bronies, I wonder? Either way, it was neat. :)

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Comments {8}

Drhoz!

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from: drhoz
date: Dec. 30th, 2012 01:39 pm (UTC)
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eyup, there were all carrying the Idiot Ball this week, weren't they...

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Dec. 30th, 2012 01:41 pm (UTC)
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The idiot ball? :)

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Drhoz!

(no subject)

from: drhoz
date: Dec. 30th, 2012 02:18 pm (UTC)
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http://tvtropes.org/pmwiki/pmwiki.php/Main/IdiotBall


beware TVTropes, you'll be stuck in there for hours :)

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Dec. 30th, 2012 08:56 pm (UTC)
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Ah, thanks. :) Hmm, I'm not sure this is what happened here — Spike was uncharacteristically klutzy, and Applejack was uncharacteristically avoiding the truth, but neither (nor any else) was really stupid, were they?

Heh, yeah, TVTropes can suck up a lot of time, can't it? :) I've seen enough of it to not be tempted by every internal link anymore, though — and they also have the laconic versions these days, which can really be quite helpful.

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Drhoz!

(no subject)

from: drhoz
date: Dec. 31st, 2012 12:23 am (UTC)
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Perhaps - but seeing everypony being THAT out-of-character,...

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Dec. 31st, 2012 09:43 am (UTC)
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Yeah, that really was a little weird at times.

EqD also posted a nice episode follow-up in the meantime, BTW — among other things, they also point out that it's not exactly been the first time that Spike has been rescued from lethal danger, either, so one sort of has to wonder where the dragon code dragon code came from, and why it never made an appearance so far.

They also point out a variety of other things I missed... such as the crown on the "king" timber wolf that eventually forms and threatens AJ, or the way that Rarity is holding only the very end of fork with her magic, as if she wants not even THAT to touch Spike's pie-like concoction she's sampling. :)

I really like these little touches — they show how much care's going into the show and how much of an emphasis is being put on quality animation.

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Drhoz!

(no subject)

from: drhoz
date: Jan. 2nd, 2013 12:15 am (UTC)
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*nods* Yes, I saw that - they do good reviews

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Schneelocke

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from: schnee
date: Jan. 2nd, 2013 12:59 pm (UTC)
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They sure do. :) I like reading them; not just because of the screenshots, but also because there's invariably several things about an episode that I missed, or caught at the time and then forgot about again.

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