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My Little Pony: Friendship Is Magic S3E5 “Magic Duel” Review

Luna and Celestia are visible on the top left ...

Luna and Celestia are visible on the top left and right corners of this poster for the San Diego Comic Con. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Avast: Spoilers Ahead!

A cloaked figure, a mysterious amulet, and a vaguely Asian storekeeper (at least he wasn’t over the top. One could almost believe that he’s an Asian pony who lives up to the stereotype because it makes it easier to fool people.) The return of Trixie!

Saddle-Arabia….interesting.  They seem to be expanding the world rather well, and in interesting directions.  It would be nice to see more of Zecora’s land later.

I met her in a swamp down near Ponyville where it tabbles all the time just like a cherry cola…c-o-l-a-Cola.

Ok, not too many spoilers, but, as mentioned about last week’s episode, My Little Pony: Friendship is Magic relies a lot more on stories about bullying than most other shows aimed for children. Today’s episode is another one that delves into the dangers of bullying without necessarily saying so explicitly.

Trixie returns after finding the Alicorn Amulet. The problem is, the amulet is both dangerous and corrupting. While it gives power, it also causes the one wielding it to be more and more cruel. Trixie returns, of course, and begins bullying the citizens of Ponyville with abandon. Of course, it comes down to our hero Twilight Sparkle to save the day.

Driven out into the Everfree Forest, Twilight heads to Zecora’s house where she learns magic. There, in scenes reminiscent of a training montage right out of The Empire Strikes Back, we see Twilight get stronger in her magic; however, Twilight also learns the most important lesson about magic from Zecora, one that any Pratchett fan would recognize.

This episode was a lot stronger than the last one in part because it does not seem quite so forced. Trixie is a bully of epic proportions, and her taunting has definitely hurt Twilight, but not to the point of inaction. Even throughout her training with Zecora, Trixie’s taunting causes Twilight discomfort.

Possibly the most fun part was the explanation of how Twilight defeated Trixie, but I don’t want to spoil that.

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