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My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic - "The Crystal Empire 1 & 2"

Written by Dr. Improbable and The Resident on Saturday, November 10 2012 and posted in Features
My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic -

After months of waiting, everyone's favorite equines are back on television (and the internet).

Greetings, bronies and pegasisters! We are pleased to bring you a new weekly review of My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic. The Resident and Dr. Improbable are The Outhouse’s leading experts on all things pony (read: they’re the only ones who can watch the show without complaining) and are here to take you on a quest for friendship and magic and Hasbro’s clear desire to make an MLP:FiM video game.


In the season opener, Our Dear Leader Celestia is chilling in her castle writing a few memos when the worst possible news breaks. What is that news? It's kept secret for the sake of tension, but “it” is back and “it” isn't screwing around. The Resident secretly hopes that this isn't some sort of Stephen King crossover.


As she likes to do in times of trouble, Celestia summons her favorite student, Twilight Sparkle, to aid her in the fight against “it”. She blathers on about some sort of lost Empire in the north, a Crystal Empire ruled over by an evil king: Sombre. The Resident secretly hopes that Archer, Lana and Cyril are going to show up, while Dr. Improbable wonders if Link is going to arrive and vanquish the Gannondorf of ponies. Instead of either of these insane theories, Celestia sends TwiSparks and her besties off to help Shining Armor and Cadence fight the ancient evil.


It really makes you wonder, what does qualify as an instance where Celestia gets off her fattening rump to save her own country? One of the hallmarks of an effective manager is to delegate responsibilities, but this mare takes it too far. Dr. Improbable believes that she’s catching up on seven seasons worth of Supernatural or something. The Resident agrees – Sam's insane upper body is excuse enough to skip work.



TwiSparks sings a song about being unprepared, and the Resident especially liked the top-hat wearing pony that appeared in the beginning of the song. Look at him! He thinks he's people! Doc is more offended by Twi interrupting a date with magic. Don’t be a cockblock, TwiSparks. But seriously, where was Doctor Whooves in all of this? Saving a lost empire from a shadowy ruler should be totally up his alley.


At the train station, TwiSparks rallies her troops and Pinkie’s party cannon. Foreshadowing, as this is going to be their strongest weapon against Sombre. Together they journey to the frozen north, where there is, remarkably, still a train station. Dr. Improbable points out that there are still train stations in Siberia. The Resident fires back with the fact that there are still people living in Siberia, presumably. The Crystal Empire hasn't really been inhabited for a thousand years or so.



Shining Armor meets them at the somewhat anomalous train station and leads them through the frozen tundra toward the Crystal Empire. They are attacked by Sombre, and in the crossfire Shining Armor gets an STD on his horn that prevents him from doing magic.


Once inside the environs of the empire, they head to the Crystal Eiffel Tower and pass said crystal ponies on the lonesome crystal streets. Naturally with so much bling hanging around Rarity can barely contain herself. Cadence is inside the palace, holding off Sombre's attacks with the power of love (cue Huey Lewis and the News). Love is tiring, though, and girlfriend wife (Didn’t you pay attention to the season two finale, Res?) (Don't you speak ghetto, Doc?) looks like she could use a nap and a mimosa. Cadence and Shining Armor explain that they don't know how to hold off Sombre permanently, so TwiSparks decides to interview the crystal ponies to see what they did before the city fell asleep for a thousand years.


The friends don't have much luck – Rainbow Dash is too much of a “bad” cop to get good answers, and Fluttershy is too, well, shy to ask. Rarity would probably be a good interrogator if she weren’t so preoccupied with how her mane would look if it were made of crystals. Pinkie Pie has the best idea – dressing like a ninja with night vision goggles (it's official, the creators of MLP have to watch Archer), but that ends up scaring away the citizens.


Finally they look in a library (and such a library!!) where they find a history of the city. Basically they have to throw a fair to raise everyone's spirits, after which there will be a ceremony where they light the Crystal Heart (at this point The Resident wishes they had started to think of synonyms for 'crystal') which will keep the bad guys away. The Mane Six get to work, finding cuddly ewes (which Dr. Improbable is determined to clone) and singing a song as they prepare to throw a killer party. Literally, they’re hoping their party kills Sombre before he can get there. (TRIPLE THERE/THEY’RE/THEIR SCORE!) It works, for the most part. The citizens seem pretty happy, until it becomes apparent that they don't have the right crystal heart just as Sombre attacks the city.


TwiSparks volunteers to search for the real crystal heart, which will lead her down into the depths of the palace…and her soul! Using a dark magic trick she learned from ol' Celestia (naturally), TwiSparks discovers a staircase that leads down into the basement. There she finds a door, which when opened shows her worst fear: failing the princess. If anyone’s read Prisoner of Azkaban, we may recognize this as Hermione’s boggart fear. (Whoa, Doc is impressed that “Azkaban” is approved by Word’s spell check.) Spike snaps her out of it, and together they use pink magic (read: good) to open the door and emerge on a staircase that looks like a giant drill. They figure out that the staircase is under a gravity spell, and TwiSparks works this to her advantage.



At the bottom (top? fuck gravity!) of the tower is the crystal heart. When TwiSparks tries to reach it, however, she becomes trapped by dark magic. She sends Spike to take the Crystal Heart to the fair. He gets it to Cadence just in the nick of time Shining Armor launches Cadence into Spike and the crystal like a javelin (let’s not leave out the absurdity, Res), and along with the citizens of the Crystal Empire they banish Sombre for good.


TwiSparks is convinced that she failed whatever test Celestia was putting her through, but it turns out that Celestia wanted to see what lengths TwiSparks would go to in order to save the world. Turns out self-sacrifice is more valued by ODL than self-interest. The Mane Six exit the episode in song, and The Resident begs the question WHAT EXACTLY WAS THE FREAKING TEST?? Dr. Improbable shrugs, figuring it’s gotta be better than enzyme kinetics.


Next week: Who knows? They didn't give us previews. The Resident guesses that it will involve some therapy for the PTSD that the Mane Six are certainly experiencing at this point.


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About the Author - The Resident

The Resident seems pretty ok: we have no idea having never met him (her?).  Um, S/He likes TV and walks in the sand.  The Outhouse is pretty sure that Her/His twitter handle is @sundrops33.  Why do we keep around a staff member we cannot identify? Those lovely unique hits her/his  reviews of My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic brings us.  The Resident has done more to generate ad revenue than all other writers combined, totaling over $12 in the year s/he’s been writing for us.  Keep up the good work!


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