What is there to say about this two-parter? Not a whole lot stood out to me. I've certainly seen better two-parters in this show. Return of Harmony, Princess Twilight Sparkle, and Twilight's Kingdom are much better than this one. But it certainly isn't the best. The Nightmare Moon arc and Canterlot Wedding are worse than this two-parter. So it's rather average as two-parters go. So, what makes it average? It's pacing is slow, which isn't necessary a bad thing. It works with the episode, as it is more of a story driven arc, rather than an adventure arc. The secondary characters of Double Diamond, Party Favor, Sugar Belle, and Nightglider are weak, but that isn't really a huge problem as they are only secondary characters.
One great part of this arc is that Twilight isn't actually the main hero in this arc. Sure, she has a huge role, but she isn't the real hero here. Fluttershy is actually the one who sets up the entire cutie mark rescue mission in the first place. This is pretty great for Fluttershy, and if they handle her like this for the rest of the season, and develop her character more, she may finally reach the fifth or fourth favorite Mane 6 character, in my personal list. Hopefully, this season will treat her character correctly. Speaking of stolen cutie marks, how creepy were the equality ponies? Pretty damn creepy, if I do say so myself. The slow pacing helps this, but I'm pretty sure that even without the slow pacing the equality ponies would still be creepy as all Celestia. Their deadpan voices, those plastered on smiles, and just the way they articulate their words, just unsettled me. The whole cutie mark stealing magic was sort of interesting. It was a shame that it wasn't explored more. What spell did Starlight Glimmer learn to steal cutie marks from ponies? Who created such a spell? Speaking of unanswered questions, what happened to Starlight Glimmer at the end of the arc? Will she be back? Hopefully, because a full season villian would be amazing. Imagine what sort of cool things they could do with it. Also, the show seems to have finally decided on how cutie marks work, I think. A cutie mark is decided by your special talent, or "destiny." Then, after you have achieved your cutie mark, the magic of the cutie mark keeps you excited to keep following your special talent. Without the cutie mark magic, you become dull and don't care about it. It also means that you are average at everything, or a jack-of-all trades, master of none. It's a rather interesting concept, and hopefully this is the final interpretation of cutie mark magic. Hopefully.
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