Well, sorry for the delay on this, but I had to get my haircut right after watching the episode, and right after that, I had a friend from school come to my house. (Yes, that is a thing, EHAN does have friends in real life.)
Anyways guys, this is it. After 280 days of a lack of a single episode, we finally get the two-parter we've been waiting for. Nine months of suffering as we wait out the storm of Alicorn drama and EqG drama. Nine months as we are starved of ponies in their true glory. And it finally came to an end. Was it worth the wait? That's what I'm here to go over. Without further ado, here are my thoughts on "Princess Twilight Sparkle." The moment we've been waiting for for months on end- ok I'll stop stalling.
The Main 6's role
It's great to see everyone in character once again. Well, almost everyone, that is. Rainbow Dash is still as tomboy-ish as ever. Fluttershy is still... well... shy, with a hint of assertiveness popping up every once in a while. Rarity is... actually not as hammy as she used to be. Applejack hasn't changed her attitude at all, and Pinkie... well, her humor is getting a little bit better than "Veggie Salad," I'll give her that, but it's still nothing special. Since Twilight has been given an entirely new role, her confidence buildup she's gained over the last 3 seasons was knocked back down to square one. She once again has to find her place and make sure she makes everything go smoothly. Except now, she's a princess. Which means she has to keep all of Equestria under control. Yep, that's a pretty big burden. However, she tries to act all humble about her new title, which I do approve of. Whenever she hears someone mentioning her as "princess," she begins to feel awkward, and she does truly believe that she should be treated as an equal to her friends rather than a higher power. I applaud the writers for creating a situation in which Twilight tries to downplay her "Princess" side while still trying to keep her duties in check. It sets a nice balance there, and it works well. Not anyone's best performance in particular, but probably the best they have done with keeping their most basic personality (not counting Twilight, but even she handles her new role well).
Main 6's rating: 8.5/10
As I was hinting at earlier, this is not an episode focusing directly on Twilight. In fact, this episode is less about Twilight being a princess with royal duties but more about the role of the Elements of Harmony throughout Ponyville's history. We start off with a nice little scene where Twilight still struggles to fly. Which I guess is expected at this point, but I'm willing to bet it's gonna be a running gag for a while. After some shaky flying, she seems to get the hang of it, only to plummet to the ground. Then it cuts to the opening theme, which I hoped they would fix for the new season, and thankfully, I was not entirely disappointed. There are only minor changes, except the group shot, where a bunch of characters are added in: the CMC, Photo Finish, Discord (who's decently hidden in the intro), you name it. After that nice treat, we get to see her new stained glass portrait. This scene is pretty interesting for one major reason: it shows just how much the animators put into the art style this time around. The glow effect given off by the sun shining on the ponies through the stained glass is pretty dang beautiful to look at, in my opinion. Back to the story, Twilight has to stay in Canterlot while the other five go back to Ponyville to prepare for the Summer Sun Celebration. After they leave, Twilight starts to feel a void almost immediately, but gets cheered up a few times by letters sent from Pinkie. Back in the castle, Twilight goes over a few things (just like your old self, eh Twilight?) and starts to worry about keeping everything perfect now that she has much bigger duties to handle. As she says that she can't risk letting Celestia down, Sunbutt herself walks through the door and reassures her, saying that this will be the first Summer Sun Celebration she has enjoyed in years. Every year, she has been reminded of the day she had to banish her sister to the moon, but now she sees the day as the day she was reunited with Princess Luna once again. After Twilight gets another letter from Pinkie, she feels cheered up and ready to go over her duties once more. Celestia then leaves Twilight to it, but is then grabbed by a mysterious root growing out of the floor.
Not too long after, there is an apparent sign of distress in Equestria: the sun and moon being in the sky at the same time. Twilight tries to keep the peace, but is soon informed that both Celestia and Luna have vanished. After sending the guards off to continue the search for the missing princesses (like a true leader there, Twily), she hears another report that the Everfree Forest seems to be expanding across Ponyville. Then we cut to a few scenes with the other five ponies discovering the black weeds spreading everywhere and trying to handle the situation. Bit of a minor detail here, but the weeds seem to be interefering with Rarity and Sweetie Belle's magic abilities at one point. This is never really brought up again, and would have probably led to other possible outcomes. It was interesting to see that concept, but they never really did anything with it. Cutting back to Twilight, she is trying to get back to Ponyville, but before she hops a train, Spike reminds her that she has wings to use. I can see why she wouldn't want to use them, and Spike even lampshades the fact that they probably should have taken the train in the first place. Yeah, Twilight doesn't really seem to have gotten the hang of flying just yet. After meeting up with her friends, Twilight seems to put the pieces together and concludes that the culprit is Discord. After summoning him, he explains that the strange overgrowth covering Ponyville is not his doing. The ponies all seem to disagree, threatening to put him back in his stone prison, except for Fluttershy who once again steps in to give Discord the benefit of the doubt. Just then, he points them to Zecora, who happens to be fleeing from her forest home. She also doesn't know the cause of the strange weeds, but she does have a potion which will allow Twilight to see the actual reason behind all of this. After activating the potion and taking a sip, she is transported into a sort of "flashback" (I bet half of the fandom is like "I KNEW IT") where she witnesses the entirety of Luna's transformation into Nightmare Moon and Celestia using the Elements of Harmony to banish her to the moon. Three things I gotta say here. First of all, you remember that one scene from the animatic with Luna transforming into Nightmare Moon? Yep, this is it. The second point is that this whole scene looks AMAZING. I mean, REALLY AMAZING. Probably the best in terms of art style I've seen from the show to date. Third, Celestia and Luna appear to be the same age as in the present, further pushing the belief in the immortality of alicorns. Just thought I'd mention that.
Anyway, back to the story. Twilight snaps back to reality where the ponies were watching her in an apparent sign of distress while experiencing the flashback. Still not satisfied with the information she got regarding their current situation, she sips the potion again, but this time seeing when Celestia and Luna turned Discord to stone. Not much to say about this scene, but it is pretty much classic Discord. He is apparently more mocking of Celestia and Luna as they defeat him than when he was defeated by the Main 6. I guess he got more aware of what the elements could do, but was still full of himself when he saw that the elements were under new ownership. Well, you can probably guess what happens, he gets turned to stone while mocking the two princesses. After that, she enters into yet another flashback where Celestia and Luna are near some kind of tree known as the Tree of Harmony. This is where the elements come from, and Celestia and Luna have guarded them ever since. Twilight then comes back to reality again, saying that they need to find the tree where the elements were found. They head on in, but soon realize that it might be too dangerous to risk Twilight getting captured too, so they all agree to send her back, in case there is more danger and the rest of Equestria needs help. Back at home, Discord manages to convince Twilight to return to her friends, saying that they are all going to have troubles without her. Twilight runs back to reunite with the others, but soon gets knocked out by some of the weeds spraying her with... knockout gas? I'm not entirely sure what to call it, but you know the drill. Anyways, the ponies do find the tree, but soon realize they don't know what to do and go back to get Twilight. They find Spike blabbering about the unconscious Twilight, and they all run back to try to protect her until she recovers. (Which she does.) They fight off the plants and manage to get Twilight back to the Element Tree, where she realizes that they need to return the Elements of Harmony back to the tree in order to restore it. Reluctantly, but knowing that it is for the better, they relinquish their elements to the tree. And everything goes back to normal. Celestia and Luna are freed from some weeds which have entangled them near the tree, and after thanking Twilight for what she did, they notice a flower which sprouts some kind of chest with six locks. With a new mystery to solve, Celestia says that she does not know what the chest is, but she knows that she will have her friends to figure out the mystery with. As they leave the forest, Discord is there first to greet them, and he notices that they do not have their elements. They tell them that they gave up the elements to the tree, but Fluttershy steps in and tells him not to act out of line regardless of whether they have the elements or not. Discord then begins to mention how he had been wondering what happened to the seeds he had planted so long ago, blowing his cover, revealing him as the true villain. Back in the scene when Celestia and Luna were confronting Dicsord, he had been eating seeds, which fell on the ground and began to take root. Eventually they grew into the black weeds plaguing Equestria in the present. As the ponies begin to antagonize him, Discord defends himself by saying that Twilight learned a valuable lesson regarding her new princess role. Then, cutting to the Summer Sun Celebration, Luna lowers the moon and Celestia raises the sun, with Twilight flying by on cue to make a... Sonic... Sparkle-boom? Waht? Oh well, it's magic, don't question it. And I guess that about finishes the synopsis. What did I think? Well, it was, at least by the show's standards, pretty thought-invoking, and definitely a more no-nonsense episode. While I do want to see a little more slice-of-life, I do appreciate them bringing back the "adventure" feel of an episode. Yeah, this is a two-parter, so that's expected, but it does its job well enough. Everything about this episode is well-done, but I wouldn't call it perfect. Definitely a comeback after the end of season 3, though. Is it bad? Heck no. Is it the best thing ever? Heck no. But I'll say this: season 4 is starting off on a pretty high note.
Plot rating: 8.5/10
Final Score and Last-Minute Thoughts
Well, with two sections scoring an 8.5/10, I guess you expect the score to be 8.5/10. And you're not wrong.
Princess Twilight Sparkle Final Score: 8.5/10
Wow, that second part got pretty long there. Well, it was a really story-driven episode. Nice to see something like that in a show such as this. Anyways, I had lots of fun getting back to these reviews, and I hope to see you all next week for Episode 3. I've wasted enough of your time for now, so see ya guys later!