|"Is that your hat? The one with WIZZARD on it?"|
Well... that happened. As anyone who saw the trailer would have known, the big event in the premiere was the introduction of Flurry Heart, the alicorn daughter of Cadance and Shining Armor. Unfortunately, she feels shoe-horned in for the sake of selling a new toy. Sure, the entire show is there to sell toys, but usually the creative team manage to accommodate Hasbro's wishes without it feeling awkward and clumsy. I don't think Haber quite managed it this time.
My other problem with this episode is more personal: it's just too much like "Baby Cakes" in some ways, and that's always been one of my least favourite episodes. I'm afraid I'm just not very excited at the thought of an entire opener (much less season) revolving around a baby. Flurry is cutely animated, yes, but her superpowers would have been more interesting if we hadn't seen something similar from the Cake foals in, yes, "Baby Cakes" back in S2.
|"I was in Over Two Rainbows, you know"|
Talking of Starlight, she also has a good episode. I suspect that many fears about her role as Twilight's newly-reformed student of friendship will have been calmed by this premiere. Since it seems that we'll never see Sunset Shimmer in Friendship is Magic (all together now: boooo!), Starlight makes a solid alternative. She also has some very nice scenes with Spike — who himself enjoys one of his best episodes for ages, though he's rather easily led at times.
There are some really nice little touches in this episode, beyond Shining Armor's "exhausted dad" routine. My favourite is the use of a very Greek-looking vase as a prop for a history lesson: this is a perfect example of how to do Equestrian-style mythology. Some of the crystal ponies are fun, too, though I'm afraid I don't find Moustache!Pony more than faintly amusing. Fluttershy's little pat on the head for an exasperated Rainbow, though, is utterly adorable.
|"Um... are you sure you wouldn't like Sombra back for a bit?"|
All in all, I feel "The Crystalling" is a reasonable start to the new season. Its basic premise meant that it was never likely to slot in as one of my all-time favourites, and indeed it doesn't — but I still vastly prefer it to "Baby Cakes". I'm reserving judgement on Josh Haber for now, but I think we'll get at least a solid season. Oh, and yes, I have seen the probably-changeling at the very end. All I'll say is: interesting...
Best quote: Spike (to Starlight): "It's almost like your whole future depends on this moment."
- Starlight Glimmer's new role is off to a good start
- Sunburst, for the most part
- One of the better episodes Spike's had lately
- Very good to see Celestia (especially) and Luna doing something significant
- The "history vase" was a really nice touch
- Flurry Heart just doesn't feel like an organic addition to the universe
- Too many similarities to "Baby Cakes" for my liking
- Sunburst being made Crystaller just like that seemed a bit much
- The Crystal Heart doesn't seem very resilient for a vital artefact