Ever since the opening of season 4, Twilight has been, for a lack of better term, doing nothing really. I mean she has done some things and supported or given advice to her friends. However, she's just been in the background for the most part this season and hasn't done much at all. Well it seems the FiM Team finally remembered about everypony's favorite bookworm and has given her an episode. Not only that, but the Cutie Mark Crusaders are also in this episode, which did sound interesting since we haven't seen Twilight interact a lot with them.
Dave Polsky is the writer this time, but the last episode he wrote, Rarity Takes Manehatten, felt a bit underwhelming and had a rushed storyline. However, he has written Feeling Pinkie Keen, which had Twilight in it, so he has some good experience writing Twilight, but none with the CMC. So can Polsky bounce back and give us a long awaited Twilight episode?
The story begins with the CMC at the Golden Oaks Library, with each of them wanting Twilight to help teach them certain things. We see Sweetie Belle trying to do magic, but falters at it. Scootaloo wants Twilight to help her reassemble a unicycle, only to be told to find the instructions she keeps on a bookshelf(Wow, Twilight's library really has everything I guess). Finally, Applebloom needs help testing her plant potion, which results in the plant growing and coming to real life and coughing. I haven't seen that gag used in a show for quite a while.
Cut to Ponyville School, where Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon say that "it's time" for something. Apparently Diamond is going to perform some acrobatic tricks, but she gets her butler, who's name I missed, to do it. Got to say, for somepony seemingly frail and jittery, he's got some sweet acrobatic moves. The CMC see how Diamond push the butler out of the way and complain about how she was using somepony else to boost her popularity. They do think that once they become really skilled at what Twilight is teaching them, they'll become the big shots. Diamond comes up to them and wants to know what they're up to. They say they're on their way to the library to learn from Twilight. Both Diamond and Silver are stunned that they are learning from a princess, and want to come along.
Now let's stop here for a moment because I'm sure, like me, questions are already buzzing in your head. First, why is every foal so shocked and amazed about Twilight being a princess? I mean all of Ponyville should know about this already. If the foals are treating Twilight like royalty, why then hasn't the rest of the town? Secondly, it's mentioned by Diamond that the library is the home of Twilight, but nopony's ever really been in it. Okay, isn't that place supposed to be open to the public? Is there a sign we're not seeing saying, "No visitors allowed, unless Twilight allows you in" placed somewhere? Well to be fair, the entire setup of this plot isn't badly executed. There is more to it since the CMC want to be more popular, so I'll be a little lenient about it.
Anyway, The CMC, Diamond, and Silver go to the library to see Twilight. When the door opens, we see Diamond and Silver go all star struck over her and run in to see what's going on. Twilight warns the CMC that "Twilight Time" is only for them and to keep it a secret, but decides to teach them their lessons for the week. They are hesitant though because Diamond and Silver may laugh at them, but are forced to anyway. The next day, we see the three fillies walking and talking to each other about how bad of an idea it was to bring Diamond and Silver yesterday. Suddenly, the two fillies bring the entire class over and says they told them about Twilight Time yesterday. Instead of being laughed at though, the CMC are made into big shots and every foal wants to be with Twilight now.
Things don't seem to be good as Diamond has everypony line up about seeing Twilight, but Sweetie Belle has an idea. We cut to a place called Hay Burger, I guess now we can confirm Equestria has fast food places, where we see that the CMC have invited Twilight over there as a means of thanking them for everything she's done for them. Sweetie says it's the only chance to keep the entire class from taking up Twilight's time with them and being upset with them. However, we see the class has followed them and decide to spy on Twilight. Later on, we see that Twilight eats like Goku from Dragonball Z. Seriously, she just devours her food like no tomorrow. Hay burgers, horseshoe fries, the whole works. It's kind of funny actually to see Twilight do that and really unexpected. Suddenly Pinkie shows up, thankfully she's in complete character this time around and is only around for a joke about the foals hiding every time Pinkie points them out.
Eventually though, Scootaloo does some poses for the camera and Twilight does see the foals. She goes out to see them and the foals go crazy over her. After Twilight calms them down and Pipsqueak, yes he returns in this episode, asks the CMC about if wherever Twilight goes, the place is considered cool, the foals really like them more. We see the three fillies have a bunch of favors such as hoof shining for them, and even Diamond and Silver invite them to a pool party. Later on, we see all of them at the pool party, but when the CMC realize they went too far, they try to leave. Diamond calls them out on all the favors though and the entire group of foals at the gate go mad, demanding Twilight Time. The CMC escape and try to get into the library, but as they're about to knock on the door, the foals catch up and knock on the door. Twilight opens it and Scootaloo tries to explain what happened, but Twilight takes it very well and believes everypony is here to learn.
Things seem to be working well, but when Pipsqueak mentions to Twilight about being a CMC means having favors done for you, Twilight is upset at the three fillies and has them show the foals their skills. They try to do what they've been learning, but they mess up and Diamond calls them out for being failures. Twilight, however is not having their crap, and calls all the foals out for not coming to learn anything at all, causing them to leave the library in disappointment. The CMC apologize for their actions and decide to leave Twilight for good. We even see them perfect their skills like Scootaloo repairing Pipsqueak's scooter, Apple Bloom grow a flower, and Sweetie Belle levitates a flower perfectly. Twilight stops them though and remembers what Sweetie said about giving them a second chance.
Later on, we see Sweetie Belle write in the journal and says how wrong it was to use Twilight as a means of being popular and that being a big shot isn't all that cracked up to be. We even see the CMC have really improved their skills like Scootaloo putting together the unicycle and riding it, Apple Bloom successfully growing a beautiful flower, and Sweetie's magic skills have improved and she can levitate the broom now. With that, the episode ends with the three fillies in disguise so that nopony sees them leave the library.
This episode is really good, but I do admit there are quite a number of things I think needed improvement. While I do find the setup of the storyline kind of flawed, it's not handled horribly at all. It just has too many questions like how come every foal is suddenly so star struck over Twilight. She's been around town and her library is open to the public, so why is every foal like this all of a sudden? It's almost very similar to Filli Vanilli about how Fluttershy has a good singing voice, even though she's sung before. As I said though, the execution wasn't bad at all. It does show how popularity can quickly warp one's mind and let them feel the enjoyment of living the good times.
Another positive is that we see the CMC have been growing up and their skills are getting better. One thing I've noticed this season is how the ponies, including Spike, are growing up. Spike is now more mature with handling his crush. Sweetie is getting really good with magic, Scootaloo has become a pretty skilled mechanic, and Apple Bloom has shown she's a good potion maker. And oddly enough, they aren't doing this for their cutie marks.
Diamond Tiara and Silver Spoon were honestly not bad in this episode. Granted Diamond kind of took advantage of the popularity thing and pushed her frail butler around, but they weren't exactly full on evil mode like the last few episodes we've seen them. The CMC set themselves up for their inevitable downfall, not these two this time. They were tolerable this episode and didn't do much harm.
Not much to talk about in terms of the humor here. There were some good gags here and there like the segment with the foals hiding every time Pinkie pointed them out. This was mostly an episode that was mostly tame with humor, which is surprising since Polsky is one of the comedy writers.
About the only really big complaint I have with the episode aside from how the foals are suddenly all over Twilight for being a princess is that I find it weird Twilight was acting so nonchalant about everything. I mean if I saw a bunch of foals suddenly be all over me, I'd want answers about why they're following me. Instead, she just kind of shrugs it off and doesn't really react until she finds out the CMC were having favors done for them. It's not so much bad as it is a confusing mess.
This episode is, for the most part, a very solid episode to me. While it has its quirks and I feel there should've been more comedic moments to it, it was a big step up from the water treading episode that was Filli Vanilli. It may not be the funniest episode and probably not the best CMC or Twilight episode, but I felt this was a good episode overall with some sweet moments.
Next week, Natasha Levinger returns with another Fluttershy episode as we see what happened on her trip during the events of Three's a Crowd.
FINAL SCORE: 8.5/10