- So for me, this episode was ... an eager waiting for everything I'd been thinking to come to be. Nothing really came as a surprise, but everything was so wonderfully executed. Except perhaps mother dearest was a little bit TOO overbearing, but... hey. Cartoon. Everything is a little exaggerated, so that those with poor social skills and body language skills understand exactly what's happening. Cannot be too subtle or you'll ruin understanding for those who need it most.
- The first key moment in this episode was Silver Spoon finally saying, "That's enough. Forget this abuse. I'm done." Good for her. GOOD for HER. Things have been getting worse and worse between those two, and I'm so glad she finally stood up for herself. That was vital. If she hadn't finally stood up for herself and let Diamond know she'd gone too far, Diamond would never have been open to change. All too often, I see friends just stand by idly while their friends are jerks. And they never want to say anything, because that'd make their friends feel bad. It just keeps their friends caught in that same state, never able to change. Silver Spoon's strength to stand up for herself is that vital thing that helped Diamond Tiara more than anything.
- Then there was the moment where I looked over at BBB and said, "How the HECK did they manage to get me to feel sorry for that itchy-twitchy-rhymes-with-witchy there?!"
- But overall, I was waiting for half the episode for them to get their cutie marks. And they did.
- What's more, I find it highly appropriate that their cutie marks ARE as they are. They founded an organization which has been shown to be growing. And I hope it continues to grow, and they continue to have CMC episodes as they found new chapters in cities all across Equestria. They have identity both as themselves AS as part of something bigger than themselves... and their cutie mark moment keyed right into the very nature of the most powerful magic in the world - the magic of Friendship. They stopped thinking about themselves, and they started thinking about everypony else. It's no wonder their cutie mark flash was so bright. They are not just friends, they are dedicated to the tenet of being friends. That is their nature - to be friends. To be loyal, honest, and kind. This is not about their talent, this is about their priorities.
- And they each have three cutie marks in one.
- First: The shield. They are, now and always, Crusaders Forever. Being together means more to them than anything - and being there for others. Not just the three of them, but for ALL Crusaders, now and in the future, official or just potential.
- Second: The outer mark: Wing / Apple / Star. These are prototypical marks for Pegasus / Earth / Unicorn - something they have had a moment of realization that they represent what is finest about Equestria and in Ponyville, and it's important to them. What's more, it represents specifically for them. Scootaloo has had to realize that not being able to fly makes her no less a pegasus. Apple Bloom is dedicated to family, just as much as the rest of her family is dedicated. And Sweetie, like her big sister, has Star Power. She just needs the self confidence to use it. In World of Darkness terms, these are their 'Demeanors' - their outward-showing aspect.
- Third: The inner mark: Lightning Bolt / Heart / Musical Note. These are, in World of Darkness terms, their 'Nature'. Their inner aspect. Scootaloo loves living life on the edge. Taking chances - either physical chances, as with her stunting and extreme sports, or emotional chances, such as the chance they took with Diamond Tiara. Apple Bloom cares about ponies deeply, but she especially cares about helping ponies know their own heart. Of all the CMC, she is the most CMC of them all. That heart is cutie-ception. It's a cutie mark about cutie marks. And for Sweetie, that musical note - I've always known that music is how she deals with her life. When she's happy, she sings to rejoice. When she's scared, she sings a song to bring her courage. When she's sad, she sings a song to bring herself around. I just wish that they'd have her, more often, start off the musical numbers.
- That they have individual cutie marks, but that match each other... just... it's so exactly right.
- And finally, the implication at the end of the episode there - the photo taking. The message to Celestia. The use of the opening credits imagery ... implies that they've grown up. They're no longer just the little sisters of main characters, they're not just side characters anymore. They've graduated to main characters. It's not the mane 6 anymore, it's the mane 9.
- Before the episode, BBB handed me a box of kleenex. Just writing this post makes me need them again.
- This season has been about the main characters leading others to be heroes. The CMC have just matched into the rest of the season, helping Diamond Tiara to be a hero at their school. I expect at the end of the season, the mane six are not going to save the world from Glimmer by themselves. It's going to be all the ponies they've helped to become more, joining together to stand strong. And I hope that the CMC have a major role in helping everypony get their cutie marks again. This season has been simply magnificent. I cannot express properly how impressed I am with the storycrafting this season.
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