by Spencer Overbay
It’s hard to believe it’s been nearly a year since I’ve seen a new episode of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. No, it feels like it’s been much longer than that. On May 10th, 2014, the final episode of season four aired around the world. Fans of all ages expected the show to return in November of 2015, just like it had for the past two years. However, November came and went, and the world was strangely lacking of pastel cartoon horses. Fans were scratching their heads when the new release date for season five was announced: April 4th, 2015.
That’s twice as long as we usually had to wait! What reason could there be? Perhaps there were production problems. Maybe it had something to do with the Hub network being shut down, moving the show to Discovery Family. Maybe the studio got snowed in during the freezing winter; they are based in Canada after all. It’s probably not that last thing, but the first two are very likely. Waiting for season five wasn’t exactly fun. I had to find out if this two part season premiere was worth the long wait. So, I tuned in on Saturday morning to see what Hasbro had in store.
The premiere was a two part episode called “The Cutie Map,” written by Megan Mccarthy. Megan has written most of the series premieres and finales as well as a few fan favorite episodes like “Party of One” and “Lesson Zero.” She’s my personal favorite writer for the show, so I was quite confident coming in that the episodes would maintain great quality.
As much as I’d like to, I can’t give you a full summary of the hour long special, highlighting everything I liked and didn’t like. There’s more than a few things I would spoil by saying it. I can give you a general overview, however. The mane six (with Spike once again being left behind) discover a village on the outskirts of Equestria where every villager has the same haircuts, the same clothes, the same awkward smiles, and the same cutie marks, no individuality or special talents. Everyone’s the same. Everyone’s equal. At first, the villager’s seemed happy with their decision, but as Twilight and company investigate further, they see that the village’s leader has a sinister intention behind her little paradise.
Honestly, the premise was more mundane than most two part specials. There was no world conquering threat or invading force; no god of chaos or queen of darkness. The villain was an average unicorn, and I was completely okay with that. Despite the smaller scale of the threat, Starlight Glimmer was perhaps their most formidable opponent yet. The ponies really had to use their heads to keep up with a villain who always seemed to be one step ahead of them. I don’t think I’m giving too much away when I say that Starlight definitely had more character development than King Sombra.
So, was it worth watching? Did we wait three hundred and twenty nine days for nothing? I can only speak for myself, but I say it was certainly worth the wait. Without going too far into my analysis, I can tell you that it’s my favorite season premiere since “Return of Harmony.” After all, it’s pretty tough to beat John de Lancie. The ponies are back and just as good as they always were. It just took a bit longer this time.