Sunday, February 17, 2013

Magical Mystery Cure Episode Review

Season 3 is over, and it was quite the ride.  But it was also a ride that culminated in one of the most controversial decisions in the show thus far: Twilight's Princess Coronation.  While the frustration among the fan base was less vocal than many expected, the Alicorn transformation still overshadowed the plot of the episode itself. It's a shame, since the synopsis promised an interesting look at the nature of Cutie Marks, and offered one last chance for Twilight to prove herself.  With such high emotions and expectations surrounding it, did it deliver?  Well, I ain't gonna answer that in a sentence, so hurdle the break to find out!

When I mentioned that the Princessification got much more focus among fans than the episode's plot line, I should have added that the actual episode did the same thing.  One of my biggest problems with "Magical Mystery Cure" is that it takes enough material for two independent stories and tries to fit them into one 20-minute time slot.  The result is an episode that for all its good moments, feels disjointed and rushed.  I hate to rag on the issue since I feel like it's more a fault of the medium than the writers, but to me, it was the episode's largest flaw.  So, since I had such varying opinions on the two story lines, I'm going to review the first and second halves of the episode separately.

At least we can agree it wasn't as disjointed as Applejack's dresses.
The Half With the Cutie Marks and Whatnot
Hoo boy.  This was the half that I really felt had wasted potential.  The songs were strong, and I liked some of the jokes (mainly what happened between Rainbow and the animals), but the emotional moments were a bit too sudden to have any impact.  And while I felt like this was more meant to be a "final test" to have Twilight definitively prove her worth to be a princess, I thought the plot had the potential to stand on its own.  What we have still serves its purpose well enough, but was just too rushed for me to feel invested.

Still, it was nice to see Vinyl again.
The Other Part
Here the episode really came into its own and became much stronger.  I think the reason it felt less rushed is because rather than relying on what came previously in the episode for build-up, it relied on the series as a whole.  At its strongest moments, it truly felt like a culmination of what came before: both an end to Twilight's journey and the beginning of something new.  While the speeches may have been a bit cheesy, they still drove home the message of the series, and offered closure to the main plot line of the first three seasons.

The visuals were also stunning.
So, overall, I found the first half to be a bit below average, and the second half to be a strong closure to the first three seasons.  So, as a whole, the episode fell somewhere around "decent".  Does your opinion differ?  Don't be shy about it!  Scream it as loudly as you like in the comments below!  But something I'd also like to get feedback on is, now that the season's over, what would you like to see me do?  Reviews of old episodes?  Something more akin to Trig Rants?  Just sound off, and we'll try to work it out.  It's been a good season, and now we just have to make the most of our time as we wait for the next one.