(Warning: May contain spoilers!)
We've survived my friends! All things are right in this world now. No longer will we have to feed on breadcrumbs and headcannons, now we feast on episodes and very fragrant sparkling grape soda. Now in preparation for this, I say we take a look at this episode, analyze it for what it's worth, and figure out the true meaning of christmas...I mean the true meaning of season 4.
I'm glad that the intro changed. While the song is still the same, and in the beginning Twilight is still a unicorn, it's nice to see some of the other charaters get recognition, like the CMC, Luna, and Mayor Mare. It also makes me believe that this season may focus more on the mane 6's interactions with other characters, and that's pretty cool. I'd love to see more of that. Especially with characters who we know already exist but they seem to just be there.
I'm glad that we at least got some recognition on Twilight's flight abilities. It's good to know that we still have a chance for Rainbow Dash to teach Twilight how to fly still. Granted it looks like she already is, but maybe throughout the season, Twilight will get better at flying and become a good flyer. Though she didn't seem to have that much trouble with flying at the end of season 3...
It's really interesting to see Equestria in the past. Especially the old castle. I think it's safe to say that we've seen that castle before (Season 1 episode 2) and we'll see it in the close future (Season 4 episode 3). It's also my theory that Twilight will be given a renovated version of the castle of the two sisters so she can stay in Ponyville with her friends while still being a ruler. It might not happen but it would be interesting.
Seeing Discord again was really fun. I'm glad that he got to come back, and while I wish he showed up more and would have, say; gone into the forest with them. It's nice that he got the screen time he deserved. It's also nice to see a callback to Keep calm and flutter on, which happens to be in my top ten episodes to watch. I'm also glad that Zecora showed up. She was really nice to see again, and she provided the potion for Twilight to change. However...I want to bring up something. This 'alicorn' magic didn't really seem like alicorn magic. In fact right after the episode I went and watched the season 3 premiere again. The dark magic that Celestia, Twilight, and Sombra use in those episodes is the alicorn magic. I plan to make a theory out of it for my youtube channel soon, but for now I don't really have anything. They are connected though, I know that.
The tree of harmony is interesting...I didn't expect to find the origins of the elements of harmony, nor did I expect the elements to be taken away. Not only does that make me a little sad, but it also caused one of the biggest mysteries of the show since Star Swirl the bearded's journal in the crystal empire. That mystery is...
The lock of harmony. Now it's obvious that with six locks, and six keys, it's going to be from the mane 6. Now this could mean a variety of things. I theorize that throughout the season, the mane six will accomplish very big things in their lives, maybe even be tested on what they know about friendship, or about their element. When they are successful in their test, they will get their key and when all the keys are together; something will happen. I don't know what that something is, but it's something. It's also possible that the keys will be gained throughout the next few seasons, or may be gained from ponies outside the mane 6 but it's more than likely about them.
Now for the bad:
The villain is absolutely ridiculous. The everfree forest? Really? I mean it's better than Nightmare Moon, or another sombra, but did they really make it the everfree forest? I mean one could say that it actually was Discord, since he planted the chaos seeds in the first place for them to cause this conundrum to happen, but it really wasn't him since he was trying to help. I think it would have been better if it was maybe the nightmare forces, or some evil species, or something else, but the everfree forest?
Well, since the Everfree forest is now I Villian, I shall app him/her as a character in Canterlot Chronicles!
All jokes aside, I'm also a bit confused about the way some of the characters handled things. I mean we know Applejack is smarter than the way she acted in this episode, yet she assumed the plants were weeds? Why did unicorn magic go on the fritz? I mean is that ever explained? It clearly wasn't a problem in Canterlot, so did you have to be close enough to ponyville to get it?
Now other than that...I don't really have a problem with these episodes. In fact I really like these two and they may beat my favorite episodes of all time, which is the return of the elements of harmony. In fact I think it's safe to say that they are my favorite episodes so far. They were well written, fairly humorous, gave great callbacks, introduced us to quite the puzzle, and raised my hopes for season 4 immensely. This was amazing. With everything considered, this episode gets my reviewer rating of: 9.5! Now I await episode 3. This has been Neo Reviews, thanks for reading!