Magical Mystery Cure
SPOILER ALERT! PLEASE DO NOT READ IF YOU DON"T LIKE SPOILERS!
So the controversial MLP:FIM season 3 finale Magical Mystery Cure has finally aired. I sure everyone is aware that this episode received mixed feelings. Many loved it, while others found the episode good, but said that it lacked the answers that fans wanted to know most. In other words missed some details in plot. And then there are the fans of the show who just plain hated it. A big reason for this hate is that these fans didn't like Twilight becoming a princess to begin with and already had negative feelings coming in to watch the finale.
Twillight's ivory tower
I've read many articles stating the Twilight becoming a princess and alicorn is a "jumping the shark" move (a particular scene, episode, or aspect of a show in which the writers use some type of "gimmick" in a desperate attempt to keep viewers' interest.) and other articles saying that having her transform makes no sense.
Note: This is my analysis and I am not saying that this exactly what the writers wanted us to see. This is however, what I saw and if I was a writer how I would justify this change in Twilight. So again I'm not saying that this is the truth, but I'm hoping that it may help people to understand Twilight's change and feel more comfortable with it.
First of all, I'm going to dispel the argument of "jumping the shark". According to the definition, "jumping the shark" means something was done by the writers as a DESPERATE attempt to keep viewers interest. For Twilight becoming an alicorn to be a "jumping the shark" move, it would mean that the show was losing its fan base. I'm pretty sure this wasn't the case, in fact, season 3 has some of the highest rated episodes in the series (check out imbd). In addition, season 3 gave fans many things that they wanted to happen in the show such as the return of Trixie and Discord, a Scootaloo episode, an Appleack song, etc. All of these accomplishments in season 3, prove that there was no need for some desperate ploy to get back fans or to hold their interest so the "jumping the shark" argument does not make much sense.
I will now talk about the argument that Twilight's transformation makes no sense or in other words was not hinted at in the series. My goal is to show that Twilight's transformation has been foreshadowed throughout the series. What better way to begin then the pilot episode Friendship is Magic (Part 1 and 2).
In Friendship is Magic Part 1 we meet Twilight Sparkle for the first time. Twilight resides in a literal ivory tower. I'm sure many of you are thinking so what? Well an ivory tower is a symbol. The ivory tower is meant to show how Twilight was sheltered from the world. This isolation can be compared to royalty in the middle ages. Royalty are given limited knowledge of what the real world is like and they don't completely understand what the common folk do. So Twilight leaving her ivory tower and being relocated to Ponyville shows Princess Celestia allowing Twilight to see how the land truly is and going back to the royalty example, it is akin to a prince or princess leaving the castle in order to truly understand the kingdom they will be in charge of ruling. Doesn't the example of the young prince/princess exploring their kingdom seem very similar to Twilights friendship lessons in Ponyville. In fact, in can be said that Princess Celestia allowed Twilight to get a feel for the land she will rule and for the subjects they she will grow to love because as seen in Magical Mystery Cure Twilight is a princess and thus will take part in ruling Equestria.
In Friendship is Magic Part 2, The Elements of Harmony are introduced and we learn that Twilight as well Pinkie Pie, Applejack, Rainbow Dash, Rarity, and Fluttershy are all bearers of the elements. I want you guys to remember the shapes of the elements. Let's remember Twilight's. Its a crown! A literal crown or as Twilight says in The Return of Harmony Part 2 the "big crown thingy". I believe that presence of the element of magic shows that Twilight is different and in a sense special because the element of magic choose Twilight to wield it. And of course the shape of a crown separates her character as well because it is used to hint at the importance of Twilight and her role in the future of Equestria. However, lets make this clear. I'm not saying that Twilight is the only one marked for greatness because that is simply not true. All of the mane six are extremely important to Equestria it just turns out that Twilight being the main character was given the slightly bigger role. My guess is that Twilight is the new princess and the rest of mane six as well as Spike (and possibly others) will act as her court- loyal friends and advisers to help Twilight transition to her new duties and to help her handle the stress of her new responsibilities.
There are other small hints that Twilight is special and will undergo a significant change. The Cutie Mark Chronicles shows how the mane six Twilight included received their cutie mark. Twilight received her cutie mark after displaying powerful raw magic. It is said by Princess Celestia that Twilight will "need to learn to tame these abilities through focused study." Twilight is then made Princess Celestia's protege and this begins Twilight's transformation from power unicorn to alicorn princess. It is noteworthy to mention that Twilight became a princess because she did "something extraordinary. She created new magic, proving without a doubt that she is ready to be crowned Equestria's newest princess." To me, being able to create magic is the ultimate form of learning how to tame one's magical capabilities which makes Twilight worthy of her new title as an alicorn princess. In addition, Lauren Faust hinted at Princess Celestia having higher plans for Twilight. As written on Friendship is Magic Wiki "Lauren Faust has suggested that there is more to Princess Celestia than has been depicted of her in the series. She says, in relation to the events of the flashback, Celestia sensed that Twilight Sparkle is connected to the Elements of Harmony and arranged the dragon-hatching test for her. Celestia then raised and trained Spike, and assigned him to be Twilight's assistant." We still don't know if Lauren Faust wanted Twilight to become a princess or an alicorn, but this still proves that there was a plan for Twilight to go through something extraordinary. The Cutie Mark Chronicles proves to show that the mane six have had a connection even before they met, thus showing that they all are in fact special. In A Canterlot Wedding Part 1 there is a flashback between Twilight and Cadance where Twilight comments on how lucky she is to have a princess as a foal sitter since she is a "regular old unicorn" and Cadance replies saying "You are anything but a regular old unicorn." This scene is very interesting to me because it makes me wonder if Twilight was already being unknowingly given princess lessons as a child given that her foal sitter is indeed a princess. Then there's Cadance's quote which stresses that Twilight is anything, but normal meaning that she is not just a unicorn which we all know now to be true. There's also the little detail that we are unsure when exactly Cadance began to be Twilight's foal sitter. Was it before Twilight became Princess Celestia's protege or after? Is its before then that means Princess Celestia has been watching Twilight for far longer than we though and it further proves just how important Twilight is to Equestria. Even it was after Twilight became Princess Celestia's protege, it still provides proves that Princess Celestia had higher plans for Twilight.
The rest of the evidence will come solely from season 3. In The Crystal Empire Part 1 there is a really interesting scene between Princess Celestia and Princess Luna regarding Twilight. Celestia in this scene displays full confidence in Twilight's abilities and states that "[Twilight] will succeed at her task. And when she does, we'll know that she is that much closer to being ready." Luna on the other hand seems to have her doubts and is worried that the Crystal Empire may fall again. This conversation is interesting because it shows that both Celestia and Luna are involved in Twilight's transformation. However, I think this scene makes it clear that Celestia trusts Twilight more than Luna does. Now here's something that I think many people missed when watching this episode. During the Failure Song, there is a scene where Twilight's is singing on some sort of balcony and her hair is beautifully blowing in the wind. Cleverly placed in the background of this scene is a tower with a star on it. This star is very intriguing because it could be a symbol for Twilight becoming a princess and/or could be used to foreshadow Star Swirls role in Twilight's transformation since in The Crystal Empire Part 2 Luna reveals a book with a star on it that turns out to be Star Swirls journal of magic as shown in Magical Mystery Cure.
I will now talk about the unsettled questions from the finale. Now this is something that I think fans have a right to point out because its true this episode left us with a lot to think about. However, to say that these question will never be answered is inaccurate because its already confirmed that MLPFIM will have a fourth season. Meghan McCarthy had also tweeted that she considers Magical Mystery Cure to be part 1 out of a 3-parter so to me it makes sense that there are unanswered questions because there's still two more episodes left to give us more answers. So I will now use this section to talk about the questions that I have and my worries for season 4.
Despite the fact that Magical Mystery Cure was a musical episode and thus a little cheesy, it can also be said that this episode is one of the darkest in the series. We learn that ponies are in a way slaves to their cutiemarks which is a pretty shocking discovery. Equestria throughout most of the series is shown as a sort of utopia with very minimal problems however this episode makes Equestria into a dystopia because as I've stated ponies are in a sense slaves to their cutiemark and all a villain would need to do to oppress the ponies of Equestria is simply change the mark they were supposed to have. In addition, while the scene of Celestia's ballad is extremely beautiful it is also a little disturbing because Princess Celestia basically admits to stalking Twilight for most of Twilight's life. She also confesses her joy of having Twilight become princess which could mean that Twilight's new position benefits Princess Celestia in some way. As to what way and how, I don't know. Although, it is definitely something to think about. There's also the relationship between Spike and Twilight that makes me wonder. If Princess Celestia had in fact trained Spike then what are all the things she taught him? Is Spike really Twilight's friend or is he merely keeping Twilight in check when Celestia can't? Spike and Twilight's relationship is one of the most interesting and touching in the series, but if Spike is merely acting on behalf of Celestia then does that change his relationship with Twilight?
Another question comes from Star Swirl's unfinished spell which was completed by Twilight. Star Swirls part of the spell goes as follows "from one to another, another to one. A mark of one's destiny singled out alone, fulfilled." This first part of the spell triggered the cutiemark switch between the mane six, but it is also important to note that it made the elements of harmony react. So I now wonder if Starswirl was once the element of magic or had something to do with the elements and during his lifetime there were others who wielded the other elements. Princes Celestia stated that Starswirl could never get the spell right and so he abandoned it. So I wonder as well if Starswirl had cast the spell and was never able to fix it. There's also the reason as to why he wanted to create the spell in the first place. I can only assume that the goal of the spell is to make the destiny of the caster fulfilled and possibly the spell has the sole function of making a powerful unicorn an alicorn. Twilight was the caster of the spell and so her "her destiny was singled out, alone" that's why her cutie mark did not change because the spell is supposed to single out her destiny/cutiemark. When Twilight finished the spell it is said she created magic. Let's examine what she wrote "From all of us together, together we are friends, with the marks of our destinies made one, there is magic without end!" Twilight's conclusion of the spell again caused the elements to react, but I believe this reaction happened because they were all together and in harmony as the element's wielders. This then caused the elements to create these strange lights that engulfed Twilight and made her disappear leaving burned marks in the shape of her cutiemark on the floor thus going back to the idea of the destiny singled out. Twilight is then sent to this astral plane and is transformed into an alicorn. This is why I think the purpose of this spell is possibly to turn the caster into an alicorn. The fact that Starswirl was unable to do this worries me because it could be that Starswirl was infatuated with power and only cared to become better than everyone around him. All that was said in regards to Starswirl's failure in the episode is that he did not understand friendship which means one of two things he never had anyone he considered a friend or that he was selfish and only cared for self-improvement. The latter makes for a darker concept and a possible idea for the villain in season 4.
Other questions come forth as to how Twilight was brought to that astral plane. This plane is very interesting I kind of see as the scene in the Harry Potter movie after Harry "dies". Harry is taken to this weird realm where Dumbledore then tells him that he has the choice to stay or go back. Harry of course decides to go back to defeat Voldemort. I now wonder if Twilight had in a sense "died" when the elements reacted because remember the floor where she was standing was burned and left only her cutiemark. Twilight is then seen in the astral plane where Princess Celestia tells her a little of what happened, sings a song, and then a strange light comes out of Twilight which then transforms Twilight into an alicorn. This scene seems a lot like the idea of rebirth or the idea that part of a person "dies" only to be reborn for the better. Let's recall that when Twilight reappeared her cutiemark was projected from the sky and then she reappeared as an alicorn. For the idea of rebirth to be explored in a children's show is very impressive and that if that is truly what the writer were going for then this scene is brilliant and shows exactly why MLPFIM has so many adult fans because MLPFIM is able to appeal to young children while still exploring such complex themes.
Additionally, I believe that Discord will play a big part in Twilight's future because I believe his reform was needed in order for Twilight to be able to become an alicorn. Remeber Princess Celestia left the elements will Twilight because of Discord, but I think that the real reason she left them with Twilight was so the events in Magical Mystery Cure would take place. Discord is honestly one of my favorite characters in the show I am extremely interested in what role he will have in season 4 especially due to his reform.
The last part I will discuss in terms of questions is Twilight's relationship with her friends. Another reason why people were opposed to Twilight becoming a princess is that they thought it would affect her relationship with the rest of the mane six. I think that is kind of worry is really unwarranted. The title of the show is My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic so friendship is always be a part of the show. Even in Magical Mystery Cure the relationship between Twilight and her friends was prevalent. Twilight said that her friends mean more to her than anything and that they are the ones responsible for helping her become a princess. Twilight will never abandon her friends and as I stated earlier she will probably keep them close to her by making them part of her court or something to that affect. There's also the question of whether Twilight becoming a princess displays favoritism and I don't find that to the case either. Honestly this show is not Twilight-centric. This show does a good job of making all of the mane six have times where they are the focus. Twilight has never been an attention hog. If there are any characters that steals the show most of the time it would be Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. These two are most peoples favorite pony and are honestly the ones that I could say get too much attention from out of the mane six. Let's make another thing clear I do not dislike Fluttershy or Rainbow Dash. Fluttershy is my second favorite character and Rainbow Dash would probably be somewhere between my eleventh to fifteenth favorite character so I really like them both. I just think that they receive far too much attention. I've also read comments that people would have been okay with a new princess being made if it was one of these characters (Fluttershy or Rainbow Dash). I think it's ridiculous because what these fans are basically saying is that they are upset because their favorite pony wasn't the one chosen to be a princess. I think that out of the mane six Twilight deserves the title the most and may I add Magical Mystery Cure put heavy emphasis on the rest of the mane six especially Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash. Twilight is the only character from the mane six that it makes sense to make her an alicorn princess. Pinkie and Applejack are out of the question because they will somehow have to get both wings and magic. Fluttershy and Rainbow Dash would have to find a way to get magic. Rarity would need to become significantly more powerful in magic then she currently is. There's also the fact that the rest of the mane six don't have the same background as Twilight. I don't think any of the others were hoof-picked by Celestia or any of the others can hold candle to Twilight's relationship to Celestia. I'm not saying that the others aren't important and that they can't become princesses. I am saying that the others can't becoming a princess in the same way Twilight did. The mane six are all equally important and having Twilight become a princess does not make her more important because her transformation was not possible without her friends making them just as important as she is. Before concluding the article, I will talk about how I think this episode will affect season 4.
From the conclusion of season 2 of MLPFIM, fans and even critics have stated that the show displayed darker and more adult themes. The finale of season 3 I think increased the dark aspect exponentially. I have always been rooting for the show exploring more themes like this however I fear how fans will react and exactly how dark the show will become. I have long questioned the character of Princess Celestia and the season 3 finale made me worry more. I honestly feel that if the writers wanted they could make Princess Celestia evil and to me it would make sense due to her mysterious nature and somewhat disturbing influence and observance on Twilight's life. Even Lauren Faust suggested that there was more to Princess Celestia so maybe she's not necessarily evil, but there's definitely things she is hiding and we don't know when she will reveal these secrets. And since its possible that the writers have used rebirth in the series I wonder if an actual death will occur. MLPFIM has some of the same cast (both voice and production) as the Powerpuff Girls and Lauren Faust is the wife of the creator of Powerpuff Girls, Craig McCracken. There is an episode of the Powerpuff Girls where a character actually dies and so I wonder if MLPFIM will do the same because it hasn't been done yet. Some make the argument that King Sombra was killed, but I'm not convinced because in the episode, The Crystal Empire, he showed the ability of regeneration meaning that he is able to recreate himself.
There's also the problem of what kind of villain season 4 will have. I have said that I believe it possible for Princess Celestia to be a villain as well having Starswirl the Bearded as a villain. There are some other choices as well. I believe that in this season it possible to have Queen Chrysalis to return and seek revenge on Equestria and then there's the idea of the return of nightmare moon. I think Nightmare Moon may return because I think that Luna may be somewhat jealous of Twilight. In fact, if I was Luna even I would be a little jealous of Twilight because it seems that Celestia cares for Twilight as much if not more than she cares for Luna. Furthermore, I thought that Luna gave Twilight some disapproving looks in The Crystal Empire Part 1 and there's also the fact that Luna had doubted Twilight's abilities when Celestia did not. In terms of villains, I think a villain can come from a particular part on Equestria map. In I believe August of 2012, Hasbro released a map of Equestria which displayed different territories and cities. Near the bottom right of the map there is a land know as the Badlands so I hope that in season 4 they explore this area and possibly have a villain come from it. Another reason why the Badlands interest me is because of a fanfic series that I'm currently reading called the Upheaval series. There are two stories (books) so far; one is called Upheaval:Breaking Point and the other is called Upheaval:Reckoning and if you need something with ponies to keep you busy until season 4 comes out then I highly suggest reading it. Here's a little info about the first book Upheaval: Breaking Point as given by the writer Visiden Visidane "Equestria is a land of magic and harmony, a peaceful realm ruled by immortal,benevolent monarchs. But at what cost is this possible? A fateful encounter leads Twilight Sparkle to find out exactly how."
All in all, I have to say that I loved Magical Mystery Cure! The story, the songs, and just everything. I agree that it was rushed, but I feel that the rushed feeling of the episode made it seem more special and added a lot of emotion to it. I look forward to how season 4 will answer the questions we have and what other surprises are in store.
The Elements of Harmony and Twilight's crown
Twilight hatches Spike and becomes Princess Celestia's protege.
Group Hug! We were connected even before we met.
"You're anything but a regular old unicorn."
Celestia: Yay! Twilight's here! Luna: Oh, Twilight's here.
See the star tower?
The same book
Elements: First Reaction
Elements: Second Reaction
Twilight's gone! But her cutiemark is burned into the ground.
Celestia's Twilight Gallery in the astral plane (Not creepy at all.)
What is that pink light thingy? Twilight's magic? Her soul? Her destiny?
Twilight transforming by being engulfed by the pink light.
I'm the cutie mark in the sky (reference to the song Eye in the Sky)
Was Twilight reborn?
I have wings!?
The Princess Twilight cometh Behold, behold A Princess here before us Behold, behold, behold
"We love you, Twilight." "I love you too, girls!"
Everything is fine. The mane six will always be together!
Sombra's horn cut off and then disappears.
Oh look his horn is back! And it looks like he's made out of some sort of vapor.
Look at the center of the trap. Oh another star! Maybe everything is not perfectly fine. Why did Twilight become a princess? Is it a good thing or some evil ploy by Princess Celestia? Will Starswirl come back as a villain?
See the Badlands! Also some more interesting stuff apparently yonder is where dragons and griffons live. Horseshoe Bay, I sense sea ponies a coming! And the ponies just have to go to Vanhoover hey maybe that's where Mrs. Faust's OC lives.
" alt="Fan art for the fanfiction Upheaval:Breaking Point by deviantArt user Adalbertus. Here's a link to the authors page on FIMFiction.net:link
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Fan art for the fanfiction Upheaval:Breaking Point by deviantArt user Adalbertus. Here's a link to the authors page on FIMFiction.net:http://www.fimfiction.net/user/Visiden%20Visidane
Thanks for reading!