This episode is a marked improvement over the season premiere. It reminds me of Castle Mane-ia, in that both episodes are after their respective seasons’ premiere. Both involve every one of the mane six to some degree working off of each other.
The plot involves Twilight hanging out with the other ponies at their places for the purposes of avoiding going home to her new castle. (Just doesn’t feel like home to her.) The other ponies catch on and promise to help make the castle feel more like home. They send Twilight and Spike to the spa for R&R while they spruce up the tree castle.
What follows is a song (natch) that shows them working together and putting their own personal touches on the place. It is not the best song in the show, but it is catchy and a lot better than Our Town. It was about half-way through the song when I realized what was going to happen. Their styles clash too much and make the castle look a right mess. This is the kind of subversion that makes this show memorable. It reminds me of the ending of Best Night Ever.
The ponies play the blame game while Spike stalls Twilight. These are the kind of goofy shenanigans that I’ve been missing. This episode supposedly has brand new writers to the show, so perhaps that makes a difference. Pinkie hides confetti cannons throughout the castle (and forgets where she hid them). Rarity over-fabulizes everything. (Yes, fabulize is a word, now.) Applejack tracks in straw and farm stuff and whatnot. Fluttershy invites her woodland friends inside. Rainbow Dash adds her posters and trophies and whatnot for the decor. “I prefer to think of them as everyponies’ trophies but with my name permanently etched on them.” Oh Dash, never change. Watching them quibble over what to subtract is one of the better parts of the episode. Spike finds the resulting catastrophe and tries to stall Twilight while the other realize their mistake and fix it.
The fix is something that I did not expect. The ponies visit the charred remains of the hadoken’d library and literally dig it up. They hang the stump over the map table and hang gemstones from the roots to make a chandelier. Each gem contains an image from previous episodes reminding the ponies of their memories. Not exactly sure what magic accomplished that, but it looks nice. The mane six and Spike bond over the newly fabulized dining room and Pinkie’s cake and hidden confetti cannons.
Overall, this is a much more promising start to the season five than cutie map. The show is at its best when the mane six are bouncing off of each other and this is what is delivered. One of my favorite exchanges involves Rarity nearly gagging after smelling a dusty blanket and asking, “Are these quilts vintage?” Applejack cheerily answers, “Nope, just old.”
Spike sleeps with a pony doll that looks like Rarity. This is downright odd. Kind of like sleeping with a body pillow with the image of one of your friends printed on it.
Bulk Biceps works at the spa as a masseur. He has a habit of bursting through walls like the Kool-Aid guy. The spa ponies hate it when he does this. Can we please have more of this guy?
This is the first time that the previous library is called Golden Oaks Library in the show. Actually, I think this is the first time that I have heard that name.
Dash still loves her cider. I think she has a problem.
Here’s looking forward to the next episode!