It doesn't pay to take them. But it always pays to be nice to others, whether you're trying to impress them or not. You never know the ripples it might cause. This episode was special in how it tied to the previous one - it was great to see the other side of the events. The Crystal Empire is one of my favorite story lines, so it's good to see that the location is going to be more heavily-incorporated in the future. It was also a good show of how to keep calm no matter the situation, tell the truth and use your skills to the best of your abilities. Great episode.
So after two weeks of waiting, we finally get to see the newest episode of FiM. We all know this episode takes place during the events of Just for Sidekicks. So what happened during this episode and how does it hold up? The episode begins where it picks up in Just for Sidekicks, where Spike says goodbye to Twilight and the others while he watches their pets. While on the train to the Crystal Empire. Twilight and her friends practice getting ready for the welcoming ceremony for the Equestrian Games Inspector. Rainbow Dash then tells about how disappointed she was that her home city, Cloudsdale, wasn't chosen to host the games one year and wants to make up for it by helping the Crystal Empire be chosen to host the Equestrian Games. When they all get to the empire, they all head for a salon and meet up with Princess Cadence, who wants to ensure the city will be chosen. She tasks them with going to the train station to meet the games inspector and that they all need to look for somepony with a flower on their luggage. While Rarity decides to fix up Princess Cadence's mane, The rest of the group heads for the station and run into a southern mare with a flower on her luggage and believe it's the games inspector. Twilight and her friends take the mare into the city to show her around, but they unknowingly leave the real inspector at the station. Twilight and her friends spend a lot of their time welcoming the "inspector" and showing her around the Crystal Empire and the palace itself. They all give her a tour, do a cheerleader routine, and even the stadium where Shining Armor is training the athletes. When the "inspector" talks to Shining Armor and says she's only here on vacation, it makes Twilight and her friends panic as they realize they got the wrong pony. They all look around at the train station at first, but they don't find her and decide to hightail it to the salon where Princess Cadence and Rarity are. They all find the real games inspector, but she finds Princess Cadence and tells her how horrible the welcoming has been for her since she never got one. Rainbow tells Princess Cadence that they all messed up and that she let her personal feelings for getting the Crystal Empire to host the games cloud her judgement. All of a sudden, the games inspector interrupts and tells the group about the wonderful time the fake inspector had and decides to make the Crystal Empire the host for the Equestrian Games. Twilight and her friends are happy to hear this and so our episode ends with them boarding the train and we see Spike, the pets, and the Cutie Mark Crusaders under the seats where the group is sitting. This episode did a pretty good job in regards to what happened during Just for Sidekicks. Seeing the Mane 6 act like cheerleaders was pretty funny and the routine they did was pretty cool. I was shocked to see that it looks like Rainbow Dash has a dad now, so all thoughts of her being an orphan are now thrown out the window. I also like how Pinkie was saying no like Spike was in Dog and Pony Show. I guess she's taking lessons from him about it. We got to see more of the Crystal Empire and even saw a little bit of Shining Armor in the episode. Though it's interesting to see he's actually a coach as well for the games. I have two problems with this episode though. One, I felt that Rainbow Dash was kind of stealing this episode. While it does center around the all the ponies, I felt that Rainbow was more or less stealing most of the episode and trying to make it more about her then anything else. Not that it's that bad, but it just kind of bugs me. At least she learned a lesson at the end of all of this, so that makes up for it. Two, Princess Cadence never explained why Spike couldn't come to the Crystal Empire. If you remember in Just for Sidekicks, only Twilight and her friends were invited, but not Spike. That really annoys me to see that despite the fact that he saved the Crystal Empire, Spike never got invited. Princess Cadence lost a lot of respect from me on that part. Aside from those issues, this episode was pretty good for what it did. It had some good jokes, a decent storyline, and the cheerleader bit was really cool. It's not one of my favorites, but it's still a great episode all around.
This was very interesting and reading the plot I kinda saw this coming that this episode would be a continuation to last week's episode "Just For Sidekicks". While the ponies were gone to the Crystal Empire, we Spike struggling to petsit while they're gone. This week, we now see what the ponies have been doing during the event of Spike petsitting in last week's episode. We saw Spike's Behind-The Scenes situations and now we see the ponies' behind-the-scenes. It's basically the same episode but separated with two events. One event was seeing Spike petsitting. Second event was seeing the ponies at the Crystal Empire. I really loved the beginning and the ending (from "Just For Sidekicks) connecting with this episode. I thought the writers handled it well. First of all, this episode was WAY better than "Just for Sidekicks". While "Just For Sidekicks" was kinda lame but still a decent/good episode, this episode was very good and it was amazing. There were some funny moments to the episode and the storyline was very well-crafted. What a twist to see that the ponies got the wrong Game Inspector but that twist was unexpected and it cracked me up... that sucked for the right Game Inspector not having a pleasant welcome but it was kinda funny though. People who watch this episode BEFORE watching "Just For Sidekicks" probably wouldn't get the point. If you're reading this review, watch "Just For Sidekicks" before this episode. I mean, only the beginning and the ending portion (from "Just For Sidekicks) connected with this episode but it's still a little more explained on why Spike was there plus why the Cutie Mark Crusaders were there. A couple of parts in this episode did a feel a bit unnecessary to me which was the reason it was a completely perfect episode but it's still a fantastic episode to watch. Also, I'm glad how Season 3 had less writing a friendship report to Princess Celestia at the end of each episodes. Those kind of things got repetitive for the show in my opinion so I'm really glad how Season 3 has been lately NOT writing a friendship report to Celestia. We do still get a lesson at the end of the episode but in a kinda hidden message way which is satisfying as a viewer like me. Definitely give this episode a watch, I was glad to what the ponies were doing at Crystal Empire. The ponies' side of the event was WAY more better and enjoyable to watch and Spike's side of the event from last week's episode. A must-see episode with some funny moments, fantastic story, and just all-around refreshing to watch. A couple of unnecessary moment took a TAD of my enjoyment away but it's nothing too huge though so go see this episode. One Season 3 episode next Saturday and then that's it. Good news, Season 4 will have 26 episodes (just like Season 1 and Season 2) and I hope that Season 4 will premiere in summer because I could really watch new episodes of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic to get me in the summer mood haha impressive episode indeed and nice continuation from "Just For Sidekicks". 9.5/10
I never can say goodbye, but S3 ends on saturday. But, in front of us waits S4 and a movie. I watched the episode twice too first on livestream, and then Youtube too,. Back again to the Crystal Empire. This time the ponies must welcome a game inspector. It's not about the games, but a behind the stage like in the Moneyball movie. One of the better S3 episodes. Watch out for spoilers. 10 points from me and an applause.
So I watched this episode twice today. First in a livestream, second on YouTube. And I was starting to have a knot in my stomach during the livestream because of all the elements I thought that just weren't working- and the audience's reactions didn't help me much either. But watching it the second time a bit later, I've come to warm to the episode, and I was surpised to see exactly what people had a problem with.
First off, loved the continuity with the last episode. I'm kinda sick of everyone making a big deal out of it though, like it's "genius," because countless other shows have done it before. I remember when the Fairly Odd Parents had that in two completely different seasons: The first from Timmy's perspective, the second a few years later from Chester and AJ's perspective. But I do like these kinds of episodes, the whole simultaneous cross-episode continuity.
Moving on, I know the whole "mistaken identity" card has been played before in countless shows, but given the circumstances, it didn't seem that unrealistic here. The ponies only had the games' inspector's luggage to base off of, and considering the amount of time they had, jumping right to the conclusion and showing her around was pretty justified. And I found the actually imposter inspector to be pretty funny myself- I know lots of people with claustrophobia problems, and trust me- people CAN act like that at times (also, major lol points for her hitting on Shining Armor).
Another problem people seemed to have was Rarity's subplot, but given her role previously in the season, I was actually very glad to see this. Rarity was willing to take on the challenge that she thought she would be able to do (even though it took a long time)- and it helped to reestablish her "generous" attitude, contrasting her rather shallow, dramatic, holier-than-thou attitude from earlier this season. So major Rarity points!
And Rainbow Dash's dedication to get the Crystal Empire the vote for the games, albeit a bit inconsistent, I felt was pretty awesome too. Wasn't too comfortable with her suddenly being the center of the moral at the end- because that was kind of a rush, she was just kind of thrown right into the spotlight at the end. But still, she had pretty awesome characterization in this episode, willing to give the Crystal Empire the opportunity that Cloudsdale never had (and major lols at Dash crashing into the glass).
My only real problems happen to be ones that seem to affect me a lot in recent episodes: Pinkie and sudden 180 degree personality change. I will say that Pinkie has gotten on my nerves a lot this season, feeling that a lot of her antics have been forced. I'm not talking about the pool full of mud (Gak freaks stay away), or a couple other nidbits (like the rotunda being round), but I'm talking about the things like "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!" just for the sake of being overly-dramatic and over the top, and her completely unnecessary distractions in the rotunda (boingy, boingy, boingy). They feel like they should have been funny, but they really fell flat and just kinda came across as obnoxious (why did she need to do that again? The "inspector" merely liked the architecture (more points for this- I'm an architecture kinda guy, and now Neo-Gothic is canon)).
And again, like many others, I'm kinda uncomfortable with the complete turnaround, "everything turns out okay" endings. I understand the audience they're still trying to appeal to, and I'm aware they only had 22 minutes to work with and so much other good stuff to put in. But the real games' inspector merely gave the ballot to the Empire because the imposter had such a great time. No real judging, no real inspecting, and she herself had the worst day in the Empire. Even for a completely brand new character, it seemed of character. But with everything awesome that came before, a little rush at the end won't completely throw off my opinion of the episode.
And my only other concern was that Twilight sounded a bit off to me in this episode, voice-wise that is.
But really, that isn't enough to score any less than a 9 from me. It did have some really great moments, some of which I have no idea why they're being complained about. I guess too many people in this fandom are on the panic bandwagon and, thus, cite every imperfection as the end of mankind.